Tips on How to Choose the Right Brand Name for your Business

Written by
Marissa Saini
Last Modified on
December 19, 2023

Without a name, there would be no business. While coming up with a company name from scratch seems like a simple task, there’s more to it than just putting a string of words together and calling it a day.

Think of your brand name as your first impression. If your customers don’t resonate or respond well to it, it’s unlikely that they’ll make a purchase or engage in your services. Finding the right brand name can also set you apart from your competition and make the difference between an average company and a great business.

To get you started on the brainstorming processes, here are a few tips to guide you through choosing the right name for your business!

How to choose a unique and effective brand name?


1. Explore themes to get the creative juices flowing

If you have no clue where to begin, exploring various themes such as descriptive, experiential, and made-up names can help spark a wave of ideas and facilitate the brainstorming process.

Descriptive names are those that already convey the particular product or service you are offering and more literal; what you see is what you get. Examples of descriptive brand names include Tan Construction, Smith Design, and Smile Dental.

Instead of being blatantly direct about the product or service, experiential names are more creative and can have more of an impact and connection with the customer. Businesses with such names include Coffee Bean, PayPal, Best Buy and Instagram.

Some key examples of global brands in today’s market that are a product of made-up names are Google, Skype, Nike, Ikea, Pepsi, and many more others. Sometimes picking a brand name doesn’t have to be that deep; you just tap into your creative self and see where it takes you.

2. Keep it short and simple

This one’s pretty straightforward. As much as possible, you would want something easy to remember. Brands with long names tend to be forgettable among customers, and can even be annoying for an individual if they constantly can’t get it right due to its complicated nature.

Pick a name that’s easy to spell and pronounce, and stick to simple words. While creativity is celebrated in business, sometimes being too creative and bold can backfire in the end.

3. Pick a name that will grow with your business

Whether you’re just getting started in your entrepreneurial journey or ready for international expansion, you want to choose a name that’s scalable for your business at any stage imaginable.

Avoid picking names that are too narrow that may limit your business in the long run or those that are likely to be outdated quickly. For example, if you’re thinking of just selling books, you might consider adding stationery products and art supplies to your product range. If your service is based on just a specific area, you might extend your services to other cities in the future.

Go big and think global!

4. Don’t copy your competitors

While it’s completely acceptable to derive inspiration from other businesses, copying the names of your competitors or choosing one that’s similar to theirs is a huge ‘no’.

This can make you appear unoriginal to your target audience and even confuse your brand with your competition as well.

5. Consider getting feedback from your peers

A little feedback won’t hurt anybody. Come up with a shortlist of at least 5 names and run them by your family members, close friends, and even trusted colleagues. If you know anyone who currently runs a business or has the previous experience it would help to receive their input as well.

You’ll never know; they can provide you with valuable advice or even spot a negative connotation that you missed out on.

Things to consider when choosing a brand name for your business


1. Be mindful of certain restrictions on brand names

During the registration process, there are several brand names that ACRA will refuse to accept under section 17 of the brand names Registration Act. These names include those that are:

  • Undesirable — containing obscene or religious quotes or references
  • Prohibited by order of the Minister of Finance — only the word “Temasek” is not accepted for registration at the moment

Ensure that you adhere to the requirements above to save yourself from potential trouble. As long as your chosen brand name does not violate any of the following restrictions, then you’re good to go.

2. Check for similar company names

Compared to other countries that are slightly more lenient when it comes to the naming process, no two companies can bear the same brand name in Singapore. If you find an existing company with your desired brand name, then better luck next time.

Adding generic business jargon such as ‘corporation’ or business structure indicators like ‘Private Limited’ in your company name won’t distinguish you from the existing one. Instead, try looking for a better word or more unique combinations.

Check to see if the brand name of your choice has already been registered or reserved on the ACRA website.

3. Your company’s legal name can be different from its trading name

In Singapore, companies are allowed to have different legal and trading names. In its simplest form, your company’s trade is the informal version of your legal name and is frequently used in advertising.

To give you an illustration, we don’t go around saying we want to grab a bite at ‘McDonald’s Corporation’. Instead, we simply refer to it as ‘McDonald’s’. You’ll rarely see a company’s legal name being used to market products and services as it is not the most consumer-friendly.

All you need to do is ensure that your chosen name doesn’t have any trademark or copyright issues, and you’re all set.

4. Avoid using generic words

If you want your brand name application to be approved quickly, then you might want to steer clear of generic words. This includes terms like “bank”, “school”, “finance”, “education”, and the likes.

Generally, businesses in these sectors are regulated by additional agencies besides ACRA and your application will need to undergo further review before approval. This process can take up to several weeks, depending on the nature of the business.

How to register your business name?


Secure your name on ACRA

To finally secure your company name, all that’s left to do is register your business. While entrepreneurs have the option to complete this step on their own, try doing it through Aspire Kickstart.

Our incorporation packages cater to both local and foreign directors and cover everything from company registration with ACRA to unlimited access to corporate secretarial services for an entire year. On top of that, it is also much cheaper than doing it yourself through ACRA.

Buy a domain

Once you’ve gotten that done and dusted, how about taking it one step further by establishing your digital presence with your own website? Try building your page with the help of free website builders that come with a vast range of ready-made templates for you to explore and choose from.

To get you started, we are offering 33% off all GoDaddy products exclusively to Aspire customers as part of our comprehensive Rewards Program. From buying domain names to email marketing, you’ll have everything you need to manage your online presence all in one place.

Want to unlock more rewards to grow your business? All you have to do is open a free account with us today.

For more episodes of CFO Talks, check us out on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or add our RSS feed to your favorite podcast player!

Frequently Asked Questions

No items found.
About the author
Marissa Saini
is a seasoned writer and an avid trendspotter across business finance, personal finance, travel and lifestyle industries. With writing history at SingSaver, INK, and ohmyhome, Marissa leverages her broad range of experiences to simplify finance and make readers financially savvy.
Supercharge your finance operations with Aspire
Find out how Aspire can help you speed up your end-to-end finance processes from payments to expense management.
Talk to Sales