Kids, here is how you choose a good company name

When you start a business, you need a business name to be successful. A good business name can help you be a success. So, it is very important. Follow these 4 steps and you will be on your way to picking the right name.

1. What is a good company name?

Your business name makes your business unique. Did you know that you may not choose just any company name? There are some rules you have to follow:

  • Be honest
    Choose a name that suits your company. If you run a fruit-delivery service, ‘Yasmin’s fruit delivery’ would be a great name. You cannot call your company ‘Yasmin Supermarket’, because you are not running a supermarket.
  • Punctuation
    Some punctuation marks are allowed, while others are not. You can use @, & and +. But (), ?,!, *,#, and / are only allowed to replace another letter as a type of 'wordplay'.
  • Other brand names
    You may not use brand names belonging to other companies, like Apple or Google. It can be confusing for customers if they do not know whom they are doing business with. You always have to come up with your own name.
  • Existing company name
    You also may not reuse an existing company name. But there are some exceptions.
    - You might be possible if your company does something completely different from the other company.
    - If you are located in Groningen and your competitor is based in Brabant, you may be allowed to have the same name.

Curious to find out more? Here is everything you need to know about choosing a name for your business.

2. Check if your business name already exists

KVK has a free tool (in Dutch, in step 3) to check if your business name already exists. Use the tool now to see if your business name is still available.

3. What if your business name already exists?

In some cases, you still may use your preferred company name. Call, email, chat or send a WhatsApp message to KVK about the business name you have in mind. We can help you decide.

4. Check if your business name is a brand name or domain name

Before you decide on your business name, check if:

  1. your business name is not a brand name.
  2. the domain name is still available.

Interesting fact:

Have you chosen your business name? Register your name with Stichting Internet Domeinregistratie Nederland (SIDN). They are the Dutch foundation responsible for registering domain names. After that you register your name with KVK. When you list your company in KVK’s Business Register, your name will become public knowledge. That means someone else could beat you to it and register your domain name. That would be bad news for you! To register with SIDN, you need a registrar. For example your hosting provider. They will register your domain name on your behalf. After registering with SIDN, you can get a .nl domain name.

If customers remember your company name, you have chosen a good name!

Tip: was there a word on this page that you did not quite understand? Check out this glossary for a simple explanation of difficult words such as competitor, business register, and brand.