I'm trying to come up with a name for my business, how do I begin?

Any way you like. But if you want a bit of process, try this: First, spend a little time online checking out the names of companies that are in your line of business. Pay attention to any words or ideas or styles of name (a) that you like, (b) that you don’t like, and (c ) that seem tired or over-used. You want to avoid coming up with a name that sounds too much like a competitor’s!

Next, grab a piece of paper and create a cloud of words, names, images and ideas that come to mind when you think of your business. Let your imagination roam. You can always rein it in later.

Circle the most appealing items on your page and jot down any actual name ideas that cross your mind. Use this as your guide to browsing what’s available for sale. Explore what’s offered by category or by other tags. Look at name candidates that use similar words, or parts of words, to those on your list. Jot down anything that seems interesting.

We hope you find something great on NamesAGoGo. But, look, so many names are now available for purchase from so many sources that we’d suggest checking out other name resellers, too. Some of our favorites include: Brandbucket, Squadhelp, Namerific and Namoxy.



Why NamesAGoGo?

Because you’d like to avoid the time and expense of hiring a naming professional to conduct a custom name development exercise.

(Or because you’re a naming professional or other creative and you’ve found yourself here and you realize, “Hey, this is a great little find to keep in my back pocket.”)

Because you or your friends or your internal team haven’t come up with anything that feels right or that’s ownable on your own.

Because you’re looking for a resource to present you with smart, appealing options generated by seasoned name experts.

Because you don’t want the expense associated with many URL resellers or the hassle of negotiating a price. 

Who is behind NamesAGoGo?

NamesAGoGo is a service of Applied Storytelling, a brand communications consulting firm with offices in the San Francisco North Bay, Metro LA, and Metro Detroit. Company and product naming is one of our specialties. We’ve developed names for dozens of clients across a wide range of industries. We’re always in the midst of naming something.

Where do our names come from?

Our names result from two kinds of activity: First, about three-quarters of the name candidates we develop come from custom name generation exercises we’ve conducted on behalf of clients in a wide range of industries.

Over the years, we’ve seen many of the names we’ve generated on behalf of our clients get snapped up by others not long after we come across them. This is what ultimately caused us to back into NamesAGoGo: To protect available URLs for our clients, we ended up having to reserve them. Over time, we found ourselves with overstock. Rather than let registration lapse on these candidates, only to see them quickly repurchased and then offered for sale for many thousands of dollars by the big URL domain registration companies, we’ve decided to offer them directly—with a straightforward purchase process and a fixed, low price.

Second, about a fourth of the name candidates we offer come from, hmm, creative fooling around. An idea pops into our head while we’re reading or playing word games or maybe just going for a walk, and boom, we stop what we’re doing to see if a URL is available. Call it an obsession.



Does having a .com name really matter?

Some say yes, others say no. We say it depends. After dozens of  custom naming engagements, we at NamesAGoGo recognize that the relative benefit of having a .com rests on a lot of factors relating to your specific business, the kind of name you’re considering, and the specific name options on the table. Many of our clients have their hearts set on a .com even if their identity and marketing needs might be served just as well by some other option. They may consider a .com to be prestigious, much as living in a certain zip code or having a certain phone prefix can feel prestigious. Clearly, NamesAGoGo is for those who’d prefer a .com and who are looking for a simple, affordable way to acquire a fresh and interesting one.

Does it matter if my name is a real word or a made-up word?

Take a look at the world around you and you’ll see plenty of names based on real words and coined words alike that stand for successful, respected, recognized brands. Whether real or invented, some of these names are literally descriptive, some are clever and evocative, and others are more abstract. They may suggest what the company or brand is or does, like Instagram or Pinterest. They may be more purely iconic, like Apple or Adobe. Or their meaning may be obscure to most people, like Splunk or Hulu.

So, no, in the most general sense, real vs. coined doesn’t matter. Nor does descriptive versus abstract. It all comes down to the perception you are trying to create. In most cases, it’s a good idea to opt for names that are short, pleasing to say, and easy to spell. Also, think about the personality you want to express: Clever and lively? Timeless and classic? Something else? 

What if I like a name for a business in a category that’s not one you’ve tagged it for?

Our tags are just quick initial suggestions of obvious potential “fits” with various categories of business. They’re by no means comprehensive. If you see a fit that we haven't, excellent. We encourage you to consider the option you’ve turned up.


If I own the URL, does that mean I also own the trademark?

No. Just because a URL is available doesn’t necessarily mean the trademark for a corresponding name is available. NamesAGoGo makes no claims regarding trademark availability. Responsibility for trademark registration of any name candidate rests with the URL purchaser. For preliminary searches, you might try SAEGIS on SERION. 

Once I purchase my URL, how soon before I can use it?

About one week, assuming you have a domain registrar on your end ready to receive the name. Once we receive your order, we process it within 24 hours. Allow another 24 hours for our domain registrar to process the order on their end, too. From there, an ICANN-mandated waiting period of 5-7 days follows. As soon as that period is over, the transfer will be completed without delay.

What steps are involved in the transfer process?

The steps are simple. Most of the work happens on our end. We’ll send you an email with easy-to-follow details when you complete your purchase.

Once I purchase a URL from NamesAGoGo, is it mine forever?

If by “forever” you mean “for as long as I want it,” the answer is “yes—as long as you pay to keep your registration up to date with your registrar.”

Length of ownership, registration fees, and optional services (privacy protection, auto renewal) are determined by the arrangements you make with your registrar at the time you acquire the name. Once we transfer the name to you, responsibility for registering your name and maintaining its status rests exclusively with you.

What if I change my mind about wanting a name after I purchase it?

Consider your order carefully before you place it. Refunds and exchanges are not allowed once an order has been placed.


Further questions? Not finding the candidate you’re looking for?

We’re here to help. Email John O’Brien at john@appliedstorytelling.com
or call (248) 928.6622.