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How to choose a company name in Nigeria

Are you an entrepreneur or sole proprietor looking to launch a startup in Nigeria? One of the foremost challenges you’ll face is coming up with a good company. Already, there are so many companies and businesses in Nigeria; so much that it seems like all the best names have been taken already. 

Nevertheless, you can still choose a good company name for your new startup. In this article, I’m going to show you how you can do that by sharing simple yet proven tips. First of all, let’s look at some criteria that determines a good company name.

Criteria in choosing a company name

Although there is no particular way to go, there are certain features that make a brand name easier for you and others to recall. Here are some of the criteria to look for; 

It should be meaningful 

Your company name  should capture the essence of your company, conjure an image, and create a strong emotional bond. 

It should be exclusive

Your company should be different and exclusive. It should easily set you apart from your rivals. 

It should be simple to recall & use 

If your company name is simple, people can easily read, tell, pronounce, and Google it. No matter what company name you go do, make sure it’s understandable. 

It should be protectable 

Protectable here implies that you can own the name, copyright it, and register a domain name for it. There are some company names that you can’t own in Nigeria. For example, you can’t launch a company with the name “Nigeria” in the forefront when you’re not affliated to the Government. 

It should be future-proof

You company name will evolve with your business hence it must be future-proof. It should easy be optimized for future extensions and new brands. 

It should be visual

A visual company name can be graphically represented by symbols, labels, colours, etc. This means because can see your logo and know what your company is all about even without seeing the name. 

Tips on how to choose a company name 

Now, you should some of the most ideal criteria to consider when choosing a company name. Here are tips to help you pick the right name.

1. Don’t use your name 

Unless you are already established as an individual, avoid using your own name. Your company’s name says nothing of it and would be meaningless to potential customers. This can cause problems if you ever want to sell or expand your company. 

However, there are a few cases where using your own name can be appropriate. For example, you can create a unique name from combining letters of of your name.

2. Be creative with keywords 

Don’t be tempted to load keywords into the name of your company. Nowadays, easy keywords don’t do the job. Choosing a somewhat modified edition with identical keywords, on the other hand, works very well, as long as it represents what the company is about. 

Creating catchy, memorable brand names by using alternate versions of common words identical to the services you’re offering is a clever way to come up with catchy, memorable company names. 

3. Make it simple

Choose a name that isn’t too long or too complicated. Remember that the company’s name should be appealing to your customers. It should have a friendly, recognizable tone and evoke positive emotions. It should also be easy to say and recall. 

4. Avoid plagiarism

Choose a company name that is not very close to other companies in your industry. It can lead to the appearance of being unoriginal, which is bad for your brand’s reputation. It can also suggest that prospective buyers confuse your company with your competitors, making it more difficult to obtain repeat business. 

5. Ensure a domain is available 

When you’ve narrowed down your name choices, you must ensure that the name you finalized to choose is available. You should check to see whether the brand has already been licensed as a trademark or whether it has been purchased by another company. 

In today’s World, you can run a company, whether in Nigeria or abroad without a website. This is why you should check to to ensure that the domain associated with the company name you choose is available. Even if not exact, but it should be able to clearly represent your brand name. 

Company name legal considerations in Nigeria 

Before you begin your search for the right company name, you should have a firm grasp on the sort of business arrangement you want to employ. This is significant because the rules for registering a business name differ based on the nature of the company. 

If your firm is a corporation, you must file the company name at the same time you register the corporation. Unless the company is called for you or your partner, you must register your business name with the CAC whether you are a sole trader or a partnership. Another obvious step to take before naming a company is to see if the name is still in use.

In Nigeria, unless a brand name is licensed as a trademark, it may be used by any individual. However, given the market meaning of your company’s name, it should be distinctive and readily distinguishable from others. How do you find out if your company name has already been taken or not? It’s very simple; just make use of the CAC website.

Final Note 

The tips listed above if followed accordingly will help you pick a good company name. However, most of the time people pick a company name only to discover later that it’s already in use. You don’t want to be in such a situation which is why you should go over the legal considerations. 

Finally, you can skip all the manual actions and simply use a company name generator online. The names might not be personalized but it’s possible that you’ll find one that you can build a brand around. 

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