How to Choose the Right Name for Your Company — Insights, and Rules for Estonia

Sept 13, 2021 · 6 min read

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During company incorporation, many founders wonder how to name their company. This process can be quite challenging. On one hand, there is a brand name that will become the face of a company, on the other, there are rules to register a company’s legal name.

In this article, we’ll give you some tips about choosing a great name for your product or business, and tell you about rules for naming a company in Estonia based on our experience.

What to Take Into Account During Naming?

Obviously, nothing is written in stone when it comes to naming. All rules are conditional, and you should follow your thoughts to find the best one. However, the names of successful companies usually comply with some characteristics you should take into account.

#1. Limitless

Explore widely-known corporate names. Google, Apple, Microsoft, Tesla, Facebook — these names have no limits in geography, business spheres, or product types. The most famous companies have a great number of business occupations — their names don’t imply a certain business activity and don’t confuse clients.

So, when it comes to a company’s naming, you should consider that your business will not necessarily offer the same services and products as at the beginning. Your ideas will evolve, your product will surely change, you’ll want to expand to new markets — the name shouldn’t become an issue at a certain stage of the company’s development. If you plan several steps forward and think globally, it’s better to choose a name without “consulting”, “Europe”, “agency”, and vice versa that will bind you to a certain business sphere or region.

#2. With a Story Behind It

Many well-known corporate names were created under interesting circumstances that added some sort of mystery around their branding. For instance, Google is just a misspelling of the word googol, Nike was named for the Greek god of victory, and you probably can guess Steve Job’s favorite fruit. Think about a memorable story that will evoke emotions in people (but meanwhile, it shouldn’t be too long).

#3. Memorable, Extraordinary, and... Readable

Have you ever noted that widely-known companies and successful startups have short and unique names? Just explore this complete list of existing unicorn companies. Stripe, SpaceX, Revolut, Rivian — these one-word names are plain, catchy, and one-of-a-kind. Such kinds of names are remembered by people at first sight, which makes it easier for founders to build their brand.

Extremely long and unpronounceable corporate names will confuse your potential customers. They will rather buy products or services from your competitor whose name they simply remembered.

Besides, complex names are hard to use. Think about a future domain name, corporate emails, design elements — it’s an extremely important side of your business that your future customers will face on a daily basis. Imagine how hard it will be to type your corporate email named “[email protected]”. We don’t even talk about complicated branding, social media promotion, and advertising.

Additional: Check Domain Availability and Google the Name

Your company’s name is gonna be placed not only on paper. The domain, trademarks, and social media profiles are likely to be named the same way as your company. So, before choosing a certain name for your business, check the availability of the domain name on such websites as GoDaddy, simply google the potential name to determine that the name isn’t already taken, and check the availability of nicknames on social media you’re going to use.

Also, if you want your legal name and brand name to be identical, check the possibility to register a company with the legal name you want. Find an official website in your country that will provide you with this information. In the case of Estonia, you can use this official website. Don’t confuse a legal name and a brand name — companies can be registered with legal names not identical to the actual ones. For example, Enty is legally registered as “Entytech OÜ”, SpaceX as “Space Exploration Technologies Corp.”

So, your company’s name shouldn’t comply with any requirements. It can be a unique word that has never existed (like Google, IKEA, or Lego), an informative name that will let people know your company’s occupation (like Vodafone, Dollar Tree, or Hotmail), or just a meaningful name for you. Remember, that the name is not a panacea — most of all, the future of your business depends on the team, idea, and passion you are building the product with. Yes, the name is the face of your company but not the body.

How to Choose the Name?

To choose the best name for your brainchild, firstly, you should create a list of potential names. You can sketch ideas by yourself or with a team during a brainstorming session. After that, let everyone vote, and ultimately choose no more than the five best options. You can run it through your friends or relatives to vote and express their points of view. Check the best options for domain availability, the existence of the companies with such names, and other points we’ve highlighted above. Finally, take into account all the opinions, poll results, and your thoughts to choose the name of your future company.

Key Take-Into-Accounts with a Name of a Legal Entity in Estonia

As for Estonia, you can choose a legal name that is different from the name of your business. But there are certain rules and tiny details for legal name registration that we’ll uncover right now.
  • As it is told in the Register, the business name of the company must be clearly distinguished from the business names of other companies entered in the register”. We advise you to change at least 3-4 characters in the name to comply with this rule. But anyway, the Estonian Business Register will decide whether to register a certain name or not. Use this website to find a vacant name.
Example: Entytech OÜ is taken, so you can try to use Elmitech OÜ

  • It’s better to avoid such words as “solution(s)”, “limited”, “digital”, “incorporated”, “consulting”, “services”, “management”, and so on that are protected by law in many business spheres. Otherwise, you can get a ruling to change the name. Note that the ruling won’t affect your future company, so don’t be afraid if you got it — just find a more proper name.

  • There is no rule to name a company only in English or Estonian. Business Register won’t check your name on semantic load, so a word in a local language can be easily transliterated into the Latin alphabet.
Example: selvfølgelig (a “star” in Norwegian) → Selvfolgelig OÜ

  • Again: there are no requirements for a legal name to be identical to a website domain or brand name

  • Business Register and banks relate suspiciously to crypto companies, so it’s better to avoid names related to crypto

How to Change a Legal Name in Estonia

If you’ve decided to change your legal name in Estonia, it is an easy deal for Enty. This service is included in our Control Panel subscription and changing the name will cost you just €18 gov fee. Send an inquiry using the Control Panel in several clicks and get your name changed soon.
Also, you can incorporate a company in Estonia with Enty. If you have e-Residency, the incorporation process will take just one day. Our client team will help you find the best name for your future company, lead you through all obstacles, and contact you when a company is up and running.

After your company is incorporated, our Control Panel lets you manage many business processes as a whole. Get VAT number, OSS, EORI, automate accounting, and manage all back-office operations using a single subscription. One place — over a dozen of services. Easy as that!
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