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Hi I'm Emily Maguire

I'm a UK career coach and business coach for individuals in the creative and entertainment industries and passionate about helping people achieve their career goals. I'm also a top voice on LinkedIn for the Film Industry and a podcast producer and host.

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Emily Maguire UK Career Coach and Business Coach for the arts, creative and entertainment industry

Naming Your UK Business: Tips from Reflections Career Coaching

Choosing the perfect business name is a blend of art and strategy, a tale many innovative business owners and entrepreneurs tell. In this article, I'll provide some tips to help you get started and showcase insights and inspiration from mission-driven CEOs and founders to reveal the creative and personal journeys behind choosing their company names.

Naming Your UK Business: Tips from Reflections Career Coaching

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What's in a name?

Finding a name for your business is a critical decision and one that can significantly impact its success and is important in establishing your brand. It can be a well-chosen name that your customers can identify and connect with or one that acts as a barrier. That's why it's important to do your groundwork, do your market research, scope out the competition and consider the message you wish to convey through your brand name and image. What values and unique selling points are you hoping to convey? How will you differentiate yourself from your competitors and stand out in the competitive marketplace?

  • Consider a name that reflects your brand and is easy to remember.

  • Relevant to your industry and appealing to your target audience.

  • Ensure that another business is not already using the name.

  • Check the corresponding domain name is available.

  • Test any name ideas out with friends, family, and potential customers.

  • Take your time and choose wisely.

How do you find out if a business name is available?

To find out if your business name is available, you can start by searching the website of the government agency responsible for registering business names in your country; you can also search Google or business directories.

In the UK, you can search:

Companies House:

Search for the company name availability with Companies House, which is the United Kingdom's registrar of companies. The main functions of Companies House are to incorporate and dissolve limited companies, examine and store company information, and make this information available to the public. It plays a crucial role in ensuring the transparency and integrity of business entities operating in the UK.

Intellectual Property Office:

Use the online search tool with the IPO. This tool allows you to search for existing trademarks to ensure that your desired trademark is not already registered. It's important to ensure that your chosen name is not already trademarked or used by another business to avoid legal issues later.

WHOIS Database:

To check the availability of a domain name, you can use a domain name registrar's website or a WHOIS database. Enter the desired domain name into the search bar, and the tool will display whether the domain is available for registration.

Next, a selection of companies shares how they came up with their business names and offer tips and insights to help you choose yours.

Conversation Sparks Visibility on Purpose

"Visibility on Purpose came to be during a conversation with a colleague. I was transitioning my publishing company and knew I wanted to focus on PR and visibility for founders and mission-driven personal brands. She said, "What about 'Visibility on Purpose'?" and shared how it could be a two-fold brand name.

One part would be helping business owners get more visible through strategic actions such as media mentions, getting interviewed on podcasts, and TV appearances. The other part would be that these business owners feel like they have a purpose through their work. I was sold immediately. And now, two years later, we have a co-founder and hundreds of business owners in our purpose-driven PR community."

Bridget Sicsko, Cofounder, Visibility on Purpose

MyTurn Embodies Career Empowerment

"The name "MyTurn" materialized from my vision to democratize the cybersecurity job market, making it accessible and equitable for all. In cybersecurity, where the demand for talent far outweighs the supply, it often feels like a tug-of-war between organizations and job seekers. I observed a recurring theme: many skilled professionals waiting for their 'turn' to enter or advance within the field.

This insight sparked the idea to create a platform that empowers candidates to take control of their careers, signalling to job seekers and employers that it's their turn to make a move. The essence of "MyTurn" captures the spirit of opportunity and fairness, embodying our mission to streamline the recruitment process in cybersecurity and bridge the talent gap."

Amit Doshi, Founder & CEO, MyTurn

JetLevel Aviation Soars in Service

"The name JetLevel Aviation was born from a desire to embody the pinnacle of service and experience in the private jet charter industry. It reflects our commitment to elevating client experiences to the highest level of luxury, convenience, and safety. The concept of “JetLevel” signifies our mission to provide unparalleled service that rises above the standard offerings, ensuring every journey is as exceptional as our clients."

Fahd Khan, Director of Marketing & Technology, JetLevel Aviation

Practicality Inspires Ontario Property Buyers

"When it came to deciding on the name for my business, I looked at it from a practical aspect. The way I did this was to think of what kind of people I would be serving would typically be looking for, and so from this, we decided to go with the name Ontario Property Buyers.

We knew that this name would create the impression that we were a large company that was buying properties all over Ontario, and it would also have a relevant name for SEO purposes. Further, this name would also establish credibility compared to a different name like 'Sebastian Buys Houses.'"

Sebastian Jania, CEO, Ontario Property Buyers

Strength of One Embraces Research and Individuality

"Finding the right name for a business is usually trickier than it sounds, and I spent weeks back and forth on ideas for my gym apparel brand. During these weeks, I learned having a solid idea of your brand identity is the first step to developing a name that will represent your products or services.

For example, the workout clothing my business sells has a tough, edgier look in its design, and our mission statement is centred around inspiring people’s inner drive and resilience. Taking the time to brainstorm who my ideal customer is and searching for a name unique enough to stand out among the ever-growing fitness market is how Strength of One was born. The word “strength” represents either physical or mental toughness, and “of one” emphasizes the individual and ties the brand message together with a simple name.

For anyone who is in the naming stage of their business, I cannot recommend enough to stay away from the AI name-generation bots that populate the internet. While the ideas AI creates can be useful in terms of getting inspiration and starting the creative flow, a unique, well thought out name is going to go much further with consumers than a jumble of buzzwords strung together by a computer. Business owners who take time to research the market they are jumping into and understand which names already exist will provide a foundation for a business name customers can truly resonate with and, most importantly, remember."

Olivia Gibeau, Owner and Founder, Strength of One

Lessons Learned: Hindsight and Rebranding

"When I started thinking about what I wanted to name my business, I planned to run a website that helped doctors find courses. Thus, My scope was limited, so I sat down and thought: "Med... Course... MedCourse" I wanted something that explained the business, and MedCourse was the first thing that came to mind. Nothing else I thought of that day stuck.

I'm unsure if I have regrets about the name, but I know that I will look to re-brand further down the line for a couple of reasons. First of all, the scope has changed. The website still primarily deals in courses, but we're also looking at helping junior doctors in the UK find career advice, education, question banks for exams, coaching, retreats, books, and fellowships.

So, we're moving away from courses, but I'm stuck with the name plastered over everything. Re-branding will require surgical precision to find and change all brand mentions.

Secondly, there are so many MedSomething names out there. MedCourses, MedCourse India, MediCourses, MedAll, MedSnapp, MedSet, MedEngineering, MedBrighton, UKMed. I couldn't even register MedCourse as my business name (becoming MedCourse Education as a business entity).

If I could go back, I would look at my audience rather than my product when naming the business. I would find a name that means something to junior doctors but keeps options open for what I can do as my business evolves. For now, though, I'll wait until I can afford a rebrand!"

Dr James Davidson, Founder, MedCourse UK

Final Thoughts

Speaking to different business owners and entrepreneurs, it's clear that taking your time, doing your market research, and staying away from AI are key when choosing a business name. Don't be afraid of being different; keep it real and embrace your uniqueness and individuality, as this may be fundamental in helping you stand out from the crowd.

If you want to connect or stay updated with the latest news, make sure to sign up for my newsletter, follow me and say hi on LinkedIn. I also have a fortnightly newsletter on LinkedIn, The Creative Life, which features advice, insights and guest contributors to inspire creative professional growth.

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