picking a company name

It’s easy to overlook online discussions published years ago. Times change and information becomes outdated. But sometimes the words or advice remain relevant over a long period of time. That’s definitely the case for this E-Learning Heroes discussion by David Anderson: How Did You Pick Your Company Name? The advice and experiences the community shared are still relevant today. 

But don’t take my word for it! Here are some of the community responses that withstand the test of time. What do you think?   

Jackie Van Nice: “I went with my own name when it became obvious that . . . clients and potential clients who want to do business with me are excited to do so explicitly because it’s me. Making them try to remember whatever my [business name] was when they wanted to find me just became a barrier.”

Melissa Milloway: “I agree with [using your first and last name]. I think it . . . reinforces your personal brand. It’s easier for me to remember someone’s name rather than their company . . .. Going with your name totally makes sense if you are a one-man band.”

Adele Sommers: “After much deliberation involving many word combinations, I ended up choosing the shortest, most direct phrase that focuses on end results: Business Performance Inc. That allows us to direct our energies equally in the areas of instructional design and business consulting, which often involve the same clients.”

Tim Slade: “Make sure [the business name] communicates what it is that you do! For example, Artisan E-Learning (the company I work for) used to be named Alcorn-Ward & Partners . . . Potential clients would call us thinking that we were injury legal lawyers. Needless to say, Artisan E-Learning is much clearer.”

Jerson Campos: “I started thinking about the items I was planning on selling. I was selling visual aids to other developers creating e-learning. So I decided on Visual-e-learning. It’s a play on both words. It sounds like ‘Visually Learning’  or ‘Visual e-learning’ when you say it.”

Phil Mayor: “Went through a number of iterations, basically decided on a name that says what we do (Elearning Laboratory LTD), also wanted a bit of fun . . . Overall it says what we do, we throw everything into the pot and mix it around, add in the secret sauce and we have our solution.”

Jeff Kortenbosch: “I struggled for a long time. Everything I came up with seemed to exist already . . . Until I was driving home from work . . . and heard a commercial on the radio [for] this event called ‘Serious Request’  . . . And then it hit me . . . Serious Request . . . Serious Learning . . . and lo and behold the URL wasn’t taken yet!”

Trina Rimmer: “I decided to go with a somewhat generic name, Rimmer Creative Group, even though I was A) not a group, and B) not fond of calling myself creative. But I like the fact that this name means a lot to me (I love my family!), reflects my preference for creative work, and leaves open the possibility of future growth. The word ‘group’ also implied collaboration—which is a big part of who I am and what I want my business to be.”


After many years the truth remains—there is no one way to choose a name for your business. It all depends on your personality and business goals. Of course, there are several other things to consider before choosing a company name. So, be sure to check out the following article to ensure the name you land on will set you up for the most success: 6 Things to Consider Before Choosing a Company Name  

What advice do you have for choosing a company name? We’d love to hear from you! Share your insights in the comment section below. 

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Kim Gillham