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One of the very first and most important decisions you will make when starting a new business, is to choose a company name.


Well, first of all, your name will be the very first thing that all of your customers will see and a good name will be one that identifies your product or service while at the same time being memorable.

Top 10 mistakes in choosing and applying for a company name

  1. Spelling your company name incorrect on the application
  2. Providing us with only one or two names on your application (please supply us up to 4 names)
  3. Not adding a description to your name (see example below)
  4. Using only one word for your name - example Pandecta. This might be declined with another company called “Pandecta Plumbers”
  5. Naming your company ACZWE Supplies or something similar that no one will remember easily.
  6. Don’t give your company a horrendously long name.
  7. Don't call yourself Micro Computers or Fords Auto Repairs or you could end up in legal trouble. Also stay away from Trade Marks!
  8. Don't use the words Holdings or Group, unless you can actually proof that you are part of a group as this is a requirement.
  9. Don't use words “International” unless you specify import, export or international trade in your description.
  10. Don’t use the word “Enterprise”, if you do - qualify this with what you are going to do. (see example below)

Example of a successfully company names submission application (Use a description with your company name)

1. Pandecta Engineering

2. Pandecta Engineering and Maintenance

3. Pandecta and Sons Engineering

4. Panson Engineering and Maintenance

Or go with the professional name

If you are a business to business model, you are going to need to keep your business name professional.

A good formula to use is to use your surname followed by what you do, for example, Smith Engineering

Keep your name truly unique!

Think of Google, Yahoo, Mango, Nike, Microsoft and Samsung to name just a few.

Or leave out your name

You may wish to leave your name out altogether, and simply become Anytown Engineers. This makes you sound like the first choice locally, but on the other hand, this will make you sound a lot more generic of a company.

Going corporate

The dry corporate names are long gone. Today’s corporations are embracing hip, futuristic company names. A good trick is to think of a word that describes your business and then look up how it is said in Latin. Then, add a random suffix that sounds cool.

Playful names

Naming your business after a cute animal is sometimes the catch for many businesses.

This is a good way to get quick brand identity because everyone will be able to associate with your company name. It also leaves the door wide open for promotional tie-ins. If, for example, you call yourself the cheetah cab company, you might want to have your cabs painted with polka dots and use a cheetah as your company mascot.

The shortened name

More often than not, you come up with a good name but it's way too long. Microsoft, for example, is short for Microcomputer Software, and Fed-ex is short for Federal Express. If all else fails, a great way to make up a name is to just string together sounds that you like until you come up with a made-up word.

Chances are, the word will be memorable and unique.

Whatever you do, make it easy!

Make sure your name is easy to pronounce and spell. Come up with something easier or you’ll lose out on an enormous amount of word-of-mouth business.

You will also want to check for competitor’s names to make sure no one else is already using them.

Also consider checking the domain if not already taken. Click here to search.

Bottom Line: Keep the company name simple, unique and descriptive.

Company Names


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- Company Name-
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Company types in South Africa

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