Choosing a Business Name

Shakespeare wrote:

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.

While this may be true for Romeo and Juliet, not always so in business!  A business name is very important.  It needs to be easy to pronounce, it must flow, it must be memorable and it must not be in use by another company.  A web site presence is essential in this day and age, so the web site domain must be available.

When I decided to launch my own jewelry business, I spent a lot of time thinking about a company name.  Although my own name flowed nicely, it could be a challenge to spell for some people.  I wanted something easy to remember and easy to spell.  I wanted to convey a feeling of the “something special” that I felt about my jewelry.  I finally decided on Plum Jewels.  I liked the meaning of plum:

“plum – adjective informal
a plum job, excellent, very good, wonderful, marvelous, choice, first-class.”

I also liked the color purple and more important, the web site was available – so there you have it – Plum Jewels.  I registered the name last summer, my graphic designer Pat made me a great logo and I thought I was on my way.  So naive!


Last December I started meeting with my Small Business Advisor.  She felt very strongly that my company name should be my name.  As an artist, she wanted me to be my own brand.  You know – like Tiffany, Cartier, David Yurman.  I mentioned the name quandary to my friend Janet and she asked “What was your maiden name?”  Bingo!  No one ever had a problem spelling my maiden name and it also flowed nicely.  The web site domain was available.  I also got a very positive response when “test marketing” the name to friends and family.  So Maria Paray it was.

Here are some sites with information to think about, as you select a name for your company:

Name Your Business

How To Pick A Winning Business Name

How to Create a Great Business Name

How Do I Select a Business Name

10 Do’s and Don’ts For Smart Naming

And here’s a little something to make you laugh – a list of names you won’t want to use:

50 Worst Company Names

(All logos and content copyright by Maria Paray and not to be used without written permission.)

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5 Responses to Choosing a Business Name

  1. Angela@spinachtiger May 20, 2009 at 8:58 am #

    This is a great article. I agree about the branding, but I have to say I liked your plum jewelry name also. For faux finishing, I chose Pomone Studios (my maiden name). In retrospect, it worked out well. For my food, I chose Spinach Tiger because it can be easily distinguished among 5000 food blogs and it’s brandable. I just love your energy when you write! I really wished you lived here in Nashville. I know we would be great pals. angela

  2. Dee May 20, 2009 at 7:48 pm #

    Maria, great post! I also spent a lot of time coming up with a name for my business. I wanted something to also reflect my designs, my passion, something different something that would make people inquire into its meaning. My name and logo have worked out very well and I get lots of compliments on my business cards. Can’t wait to see your new logo!

  3. Maria May 20, 2009 at 9:54 pm #

    Thanks Angela and Dee! Love both your company names – they work for you. Whatever someone uses, it can’t be haphazard – it needs to be a well thought out and deliberate decision. There has to be reasoning behind it.

    I was happy with Plum Jewels. But I like the new (old!) name too. Currently working on a tag line – something that says “Jewelry!”

  4. Vicki Bensinger May 22, 2009 at 7:19 am #

    Interesting article Maria, maybe I should have spent more time coming up with the name of my business. Although it’s going well so I can’t complain. I had fun reading the worst names in business, they made me laugh.

  5. Maria May 22, 2009 at 11:27 am #

    Glad you got a chuckle, Vicki!