Naming Your Business

Mary-Lou Ashton

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You want your company name to reflect something about who you are since you are the business. Think about where your passions lie related to the business. Are you passionate about helping others? Organization? Creativity? Systems and processes?

It’s not imperative your company name describes exactly what you do. If you think about this it’s quite difficult to succinctly describe what you do in a couple of words. Think about Pepsi, Microsoft, Kleenex or Kodak, all brand names that are not even part of the English language. It’s all in the marketing.

Brainstorming is the easiest way to come up with a company name. Write down all the things you are passionate about then list your strengths. Looking at the words you have what ones jump out at you or have special meaning to you. Start with these words and pull in any business descriptions, concepts or images you may want to include. Once you have a list of all these things brainstorm variations of word combinations. Once you find one or more that connect with you try changing the words around and making minor variations.

Take the short list you now have and send to family, friends, coworkers and business associates to get their input. Ask if they have any additional suggestions. Keep in mind that what may appeal to them may not necessarily be the right company name for you. Another way that may help narrow down your choices is checking the availability of the domain name.

While all of us want the perfect company name there is no law that says you cannot change your company name in the future. However careful consideration must be given to this option based on the marketing and reputation that has already been built around the old name.

Be sure you go to your local government agency to register the name you have chosen. In some instances the name may already be registered and being used by someone else in which case you will have to choose the next name on your list. Remember to check on the domain name of this company name as well and once you have registered the business name don’t forget to register the domain name!

Just using your own name is always an option. You may also want to add additional descriptors such as “business services”, “virtual assistant services” or “and associates”. This is sometimes an easier solution for those who cannot come up with another company name.

You want to keep in mind that when using your name it is definitely your reputation on the line. Consider the possibility of your name changing i. e. marriage or divorce and whether you may want to sell or expand the business and any complication this may present.

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Mary-Lou Ashton
Virtual Strategies
Phone: 604-483-3740
Fax: 604-648-8641

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Mary-Lou Ashton has been a pioneer in the Virtual Assistant profession in Canada since 1997 and developed a training program to support other VA's in being successful. Her passion for the profession continues to grow and Mary-Lou invites you to visit her at


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