How to choose your business name to build a sellable company

How to choose your business name to build a sellable company

Choosing a business name is a crucial step in building a sellable business. Do you know how to choose your business name?

I often get questions from clients about this. Should they use their name and build a personal brand or find a business name not related to their name?

First, let’s discuss the pros and cons of using your name and building your brand around yourself.

Using your personal name as a business name is a decision that depends on various factors, including your goals, the nature of your business, and personal preferences. Here are some considerations:

Advantages of using your personal name

Authenticity: Using your name can add a personal touch to your business, making it more relatable and authentic. This can be particularly effective for businesses where your personal brand and expertise are central.

Credibility: Using your name can lend credibility to your business if you have a solid professional reputation in your field.

Flexibility: Your name is unique to you and can be used for a wide range of business endeavors. This flexibility can be beneficial if you plan to engage in different business ventures over time.

Disadvantages of using your personal name

Privacy: Using your name may make it more challenging to maintain personal and professional privacy, as your personal and business identities are closely linked.

Scalability: If you plan to build a more significant, more complex business with multiple stakeholders, using your personal name might not be suitable, as it may not convey the image of a larger, more corporate entity.

Succession Planning: If your business is closely tied to your name, it may be more challenging to pass it on or sell it to others in the future. And remember… one day, all businesses get sold, given away, or liquidated!

The decision often comes down to your specific circumstances and branding objectives. You can also consider variations like using your name alongside a descriptive term or creating a distinct business name that represents your brand without using your name.

Ultimately, it is essential to think about your long-term goals and how your business name aligns with them. Consulting with a branding expert or attorney may also help make this decision.

But today, my question is… How do you choose your business name to build a sellable company?

While it may seem like a relatively minor decision in the grand scheme, a business name has far-reaching implications for brand identity, marketing, legal considerations, and long-term success.

Let’s explore why selecting the right business name is essential for creating a sellable business and how it impacts various aspects of entrepreneurship.

#1 First Impressions + Brand Identity

A business name is often the first point of contact between a company and its potential customers. It serves as the initial impression and sets the tone for the brand identity. A well-chosen name can convey professionalism, credibility, and trustworthiness, making it easier to attract customers and establish a positive brand image.

Conversely, a poorly chosen name can create clarity and skepticism among potential buyers.

Consider the impact of iconic brand names like Apple, Google, or Coca-Cola. These names are not only memorable but also evoke specific emotions and associations.

A strong business name can become integral to the brand’s identity and contribute significantly to its value.

#2 Differentiation & Market Positioning

A unique and compelling business name can help your company stand out in a competitive marketplace. It’s an opportunity to differentiate your brand from competitors and position it as distinctive and unique. A memorable name makes it easier for customers to recall your business when purchasing.

For instance, companies like Tesla and Amazon have names that set them apart in their respective industries. These names are unique and reflect the innovative and boundary-pushing nature of the companies. Such differentiation can be a valuable asset when building a sellable business.

# 3 Legal Considerations + Trademark Protection

Choosing a business name involves more than just creativity; it also requires a thorough legal check. Registering your business name ensures you have exclusive rights to use it within your industry and jurisdiction. This protection is essential for safeguarding your brand identity and preventing others from capitalizing on your reputation.

Failure to conduct proper due diligence on your business name can lead to legal disputes, costly rebranding efforts, and damage to your business’s reputation.

When building a sellable business, having a clear and legally protected name is crucial to avoid potential hurdles during the selling process.

#4 Scalability + Expansion

A well-chosen business name should be adaptable and scalable, accommodating potential growth and diversification. As your business evolves, you may expand into new product lines, markets, or industries. A flexible name can help you make these transitions seamlessly without requiring frequent rebranding.

Consider the evolution of companies like Amazon or Virgin Group. Their initial business names ( and Virgin Records, respectively) allowed them to expand into various sectors while maintaining a consistent brand identity. This scalability is valuable when positioning a business for sale, as it signals growth potential to potential buyers.

#5 Marketing & Customer Engagement

Marketing is a cornerstone of any successful business, and your business name plays a vital role in marketing efforts. A memorable name is easier to market and promotes word-of-mouth referrals. It can also serve as a powerful tool for storytelling and creating emotional connections with customers.

Moreover, a well-crafted business name can provide valuable keywords for search engine optimization (SEO), improving your online visibility and attracting organic traffic. This can significantly impact the digital presence and overall value of your business, especially in today’s digital age.

#6 Trust & Credibility

Trust and credibility are essential factors in building a sellable business. A well-chosen business name can convey professionalism and reliability to customers, partners, and potential investors. Conversely, a poorly selected or unprofessional-sounding name can erode trust and hinder business growth.

Consider how names like “IBM” or “Microsoft” exude a sense of trust and credibility in the tech industry. These names have become synonymous with innovation and quality, contributing to these companies’ long-term success and sellability.

#7 Resale Value & Exit Strategy

Ultimately, the goal of many entrepreneurs is to build a sellable business, and a thoughtfully chosen business name can enhance the resale value of your company.

One day, all businesses get sold, given away, or liquidated!

A strong brand with a recognizable and reputable name is an attractive asset for potential buyers.

Buyers are often willing to pay a premium for businesses with established brand identities, as it can save them time and resources in building brand recognition from scratch. Therefore, a well-established business name can significantly increase the perceived value of your company during the selling process.

Remember, choosing a business name is critical in building a sellable business, as it impacts brand identity, differentiation, legal protection, scalability, marketing, trust, and resale value. A carefully selected name can set the stage for success, making attracting customers, investors, and buyers easier.

You should approach the naming process with creativity, research, and legal diligence to ensure their chosen name aligns with your business goals and long-term vision. By doing so, you can create a powerful brand that not only thrives in the present but also holds significant value in the future, ultimately contributing to the success and sellability of the business.

Now, if you are wondering where the name Business Atelier comes from… it’s a mix of business and creation since launching, managing, and scaling a business takes creativity. The definition of Atelier is a workshop or studio, especially one used by an artist or designer. So I combined the two so that each entrepreneur finds the tools and resources to design their next project, offer, and business… and I can’t wait to help them create something unique.

What about your business name?

Does your business name reflect the product or service you offer? I’d love to know your business name and what product or service you are offering.

Comment below and tell me how you’ve picked your business name.


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