Naming your business is one of the most important steps you take when getting started. It's also one of the most challenging, largely because it's so important. What you name your business tells people what you do, influences how they perceive it, and determines how you market your business. Choosing the wrong name can have real consequences for your business, so it's worth taking the time to get it right.
Sometimes you just need a little help coming up with the perfect name for your business. Online name generators are a tool that allows you to enter a keyword--or a series of keywords--that represents your business and gives you a selection of names that are related.
Of course, there's a reason that services like online name generators are free. It's either because the site is trying to sell you something else--and uses the fact that you found their tool via a Google search as a way to attract traffic--or because the tool isn't very useful (you get what you pay for).
Let me be clear on this: Coming up with a name for your business isn't something you should probably leave to a free online tool, but if you need a little help getting some inspiration, these options can help. All of these recommendations are legit websites, and--while they're all trying to sell you something (with the exception of Wordlab)--they're also pretty good at generating a reasonable number of suggestions.
Here are the five best free online business name generators:
There are a few reasons to really like Shopify's name generator, even if you aren't building an online shop. One is that it gives users a lot of good options--more than most of the free services I tried online. Another, and maybe more important, is that the options it gives you feel like more than just figuring out how many different ways a computer can string together the keywords you entered.
The final thing I really like about Shopify's free online name generator is that, while I'm sure the company would love it if you signed up for its service, there's really no catch. Some of the other free services have lots of popups and ads for different services that make it harder to feel like you can actually focus on picking your business name. Shopify's is clean and simple. Of course, if you find one you like, Shopify makes it easy to register the name and get set up with an online shop.
While it's actually a domain registrar, Hover has a search tool that can actually be really helpful in choosing a name for your business. It automatically searches for terms similar to the domain you enter. Since having a domain that matches your business name is so important, many people start by making sure the domain they want to use is available. Besides, if you're picking a name for your business, it's a good idea to make sure that a matching domain name is available.
If you're trying to come up with an interesting name for a new company, Namelix's A.I.-powered approach might be a great option. It gives you the ability to enter keywords, choose how long of a name you're looking for, and then decide what type of word you want. For example, you can choose from a compound word, a completely made-up word, or even a person's name.
If you find one you like, it gives you the ability to register a domain, and even select and purchase a logo design to download at a reasonable price. Namelix will even let you preview the name and logo on popular marketing materials. One drawback is that if you're looking for a more traditional name, you might find Namelix's offerings a little too creative. One of the most common mistakes when naming a business is settling on one that people will have trouble remembering.
One of the unique features of the Wix online name generator is that it allows you to choose an industry in addition to entering keywords. This is really helpful if the keywords you want to use aren't obviously related to the type of business you're trying to name. Wix also gives you a lot of good options to choose from--more than enough to get inspired by something. Of course, Wix also makes it easy to reserve your company domain name and set up a website.
Wordlab is a little different, in that instead of your entering keywords, the name generator randomly gives you different combinations from its collection of more than 7.2 million possibilities. Wordlab also has a free forum where you can submit ideas and ask for suggestions from members. The site even has specific name generators for businesses like restaurants, event planning companies, and even craft beer.
For most business owners, it's probably worth taking advantage of the fact that all of these tools are free, and give a few of them a try. Even if you find a business name that you like right away, make sure it's available as a domain name. You might also plug in your favorites to another service to see if it comes up with variations you never thought of.
The key is to pick something memorable that communicates to customers who you are and what you do. Don't worry if it takes some time--it's worth it, especially since all of these services are free.