So, you have an amazing idea. Now you just need an equally amazing company name to go with it. Choosing a company name can be a stressful process. Ideally, your company name should be unique, easy to pronounce and memorable. Easier said than done, right?
First things first, if you’re setting up a company in Ireland, you must identify the differences between a sole trader and a limited company. Company names and business names have a very different legal status.
What’s The Difference Between A Company Name And A Business Name?
- When you incorporate your company, a separate legal entity is created between you and your company.
- It is required to register your company name with the Companies Registration Office (CRO).
- A company name is protected by the CRO. Once your company name is registered with the CRO, no other company can use it.
- It is necessary to register a business name with the CRO if any individual, partnership or corporate body wishes to operate under any name that is not their own true name.
- The CRO does not protect a business name and there are no restrictions if any other individual wants to use your business name.
- No legal entity is formed and there is no limitation on liability.
Tips For Choosing Your Company Name
So, what’s in a name? A great company name has the power to help your business stand out amongst the crowd. Do you want your company name to be abstract, simple or creative? There are pros and cons to all of these. There are plenty of legal requirements to consider when it comes to naming your company. The CRO has a very helpful leaflet outlining these requirements.
Here are our top tips to help you start your naming process:
Keep Your Customer In Mind
Create a persona of the person you want to sell your product to. Who are you naming this for? Who should this name appeal to? You want to make sure your company name resonates with them.
Do you want your name to be: fun? Simple? Serious? Attention grabbing? Write down a list of keywords. These keywords should be based on what your target market is like, and what they like. Try to keep it simple, a name that’s easy to spell and pronounce. You can use a thesaurus to find different variations of words you already have.
Creativity is key. The more creative and free-thinking you can be at this stage, the more ideas you will generate, so have fun with it. You should still keep your guidelines in mind, but do allow yourself some unrestricted time to be creative, you’ll have more options to choose from this way.
This can be as simple as knocking a few letters off of an existing word. Some examples of companies that did just that are ‘Asus’, which is from the word Pegasus, and ‘Cisco’ which is short for San Francisco.
Think about brand names that tell a story, this makes customers respond to your business on an emotional level. Dublin based PR agency Buck and Hound has an interesting story about how their name came to be. The Buck comes from the founding director’s name, Claire Buckley and the hound refers to her dog Stella, who sits in the office alongside her.
You want something that conveys the identity of your company. A great example of a descriptive company name is Amazon. Named after earth’s largest rainforest. When they launched in 1995 they had the tagline “Earth’s largest bookstore”.
It might be worth having a think about a catchy tagline as well. Many great company names have a memorable tagline to go with them. For example, the brand L’Oreal has the well-known tagline “Because you’re worth it”.
This tagline is designed to connect their audience, making them feel special and telling them how their product can make their lives better.
Once you have a few possibilities, bounce them off your friends and family. You can even go out and ask your target market what they think. You might be surprised at the number of things they bring to your attention that you’ve overlooked. Add their feedback to the process.
Use Company Name Check Generators
Need some more inspiration? Try using a creative business name generator. There are plenty of websites that can help choose potential company names. Naming.net and Biznamewiz are great because they allow you to select your industry or sector to help narrow down the search.
Don’t Limit Yourself
A name like “Ballymun Plumbing” may work well at the start, but it limits itself when it comes to expanding the company outside of Ballymun.
When choosing your name always think about the possible expansion of your business. This means avoiding geographic locations. Local place names may clash with another company in the same area.
Check If The Domain Name Is Available
Your domain name does not have to match the name of your company exactly. For example, GlaxoSmithKline, a pharmaceutical industry, use GSK.com for their corporate website.
Check if the domain name you want to use is available, then you can secure the domain name. For Irish businesses, you have the choice of using .ie or .com, keep in mind whether or not you want to target non-Irish or international audiences.
You can check if your domain name is available by using The Irish Domain Registry.
When you have selected your domain name, register some similar names or variations. We recommend you do this to protect your brand name from competitors and to drive more traffic to your website.
Check With Companies Registration Office
The next step is to check CRO’s search facility to see if the name you want is available. The CRO reserves the right to refuse any name based on their rules. Here are some things to consider before picking a company name:
Avoid using general words in your company name. Examples would be ‘business’, ‘services’ and ‘consultancy’.
Similarly, words such as ‘Universal’, ‘Global’, and ‘International’ are too popular and generic.
Words such as ‘holding’, ‘group’, ‘system’, ‘services’, ‘international’, ‘solutions’, ‘enterprises’ also have a weak distinction. The CRO is likely to refuse names with any of these examples.
However, this is not always accurate. If you have any questions or you are unsure you can contact us and we can follow up for you. Alternatively, you can join our free monthly webinar for startups and check out our helpful guides and checklists on starting your new business in Ireland.
What Documentation Do I Need to Register My Company Name?
Once you have a name you are happy with, we can take it from there. We will complete the relevant forms to suit your business needs.
- First, an email is sent with these documents for your confirmation and your signature.
- When you return the signed documents to us, we complete the administration end of forming your company.
- You will receive confirmation once your company has been formed.
- In addition, we will then advise you on the next steps to take like registering your company for VAT and opening the company’s bank account.
Register Your Company Name With Us
Choosing your company name and registering your company goes hand in hand. As part of our Company Formation Service, we can register your company name within a couple of days. All you have to do is provide us with some a short list of names you are happy with. We will do the research to ensure your name will be accepted by the CRO.
As part of our online company formation service we also offer the following:
- Certificate of Incorporation.
- Company Constitution.
- Share Certificates.
- Schedule of Company Officers.
- Secure Digital Register.
- 12.5% Corporate Tax Registration.
- First Annual Return.
- Free Offers on web design, print and workbench space.
- Our team keeps in touch with you all the way through, via telephone, email and Web chat support.
Sounds good to you? Click here to check out our company formation package. Happy naming!