You have an amazing idea for a kitchen business. You've done your research, know who your customers are, and you are ready to roll…except for one thing that has you stumped:
What will you name your business?
In the beginning, coming up with a name for a food business can feel like the biggest decision you'll make – right after deciding what kind of food business you will have. People may say you're “overthinking” it, but there's a lot to consider!
When someone asks for your contact information or a website address, where will you send them? How can you create business cards without a business name?
And we get it – you want that perfect name: something catchy, that helps you stand out from the crowd, represents your brand, attracts customers, and isn't already being used.
That's a tall order, and you may think that every good name is taken, but don't give up! Sometimes it just takes some creative thinking to get to that flash of genius.
In this post, we'll go over some steps you can take to find the perfect name for your home-based food business. From brainstorming, to researching available names, to testing out a few ideas and getting feedback, the following tips should help you with the decision.
You may decide to go with the first available name that fits, and then fall in love with something else, later. Or you may get lucky and the right name will find you, as if it were meant to be.
Just remember that it is still early in the process. You'll have time to “try on” different names, and it's okay to change your mind – and then change it again!
This post may contain affiliate links for products we recommend (this means that if you make a purchase through one of our links, we will earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you). Full disclosure policy.
Brainstorming food-business name ideas:
Brainstorming is always the fun part, for us. Grab a notebook and your favorite pen, or Post-its and a whiteboard, whatever works for you, get comfortable, and let the ideas flow.
If you're always on the go, carry a notebook with you, instead, or use a note-taking app on your phone. Jot down ideas as they come to you.
Keeping an open mind will help, here – write down everything that comes to mind, even if it doesn't make sense at first. You're getting your brain into a creative mode, and the best ideas may surprise you!
Start with a list
It’s a good idea to come up with a list of several possible names. Write down any ideas you’ve already come up with, then take some time to add to the list:
Do you have words that you definitely want to include in the name? Write them down. Words that describe what you will do? Add them to the list. Anything that comes to mind, even if it seems silly, gets added. You can always remove things later. Let you mind wander, if you want to – sometimes this is when we are the most creative.
Now it's time for some questions.
What do you want the name to do for your business? When people see the name, do you want them to immediately know that you do something food-related? Or are you looking for something that represents a attitude, or a style? Just like a logo, the right words can make all the difference in how customers perceive your brand.
Again, even if these only come to you as random words, add them to your notes. They may come in handy, later.
Ask friends and family:
Be open to suggestions and input from others; you might get a fresh perspective. Describe your food-business plans to them, and what you're wanting to achieve – see if that sparks any name ideas. Or ask them for the first word that pops into their head when they think of YOU. Since you are at the core of your business, that word (or even your name!) might also be a great way to represent the business.
If this will be a family endeavor, brainstorming together lets everyone feel involved in the process, and keeps you all looking forward to getting started!
Ask the internet:
Google is your friend, here – run a search for the name you're considering, and see what comes up! If there is already a similar food company using the name, you may have just saved yourself some time. Either way, you'll see what a customer would find if they searched for your business today.
Use a Business Name Generator
Namesnack's Business Name Generator is a free tool that you can use to come up with food-business name ideas. It’s great at coming up with suggestions we wouldn’t have thought of – simply type in a couple of keywords from your list or words related to your products (cookies, meals, custom, freeze-dried), enter the type of business (food, kitchen, restaurant, blog), and then let Namesnack do its thing!
The tool will also let you know if the name is available as a domain address, in case you want to set up a website.
If you don’t find anything you like on the first try (and there will be multiple pages of suggestions), try searching again with different keywords.
Even if you don’t find the perfect name here, you may be inspired by something that almost fits, and come up with it on your own!
I have a list – now what?
Now it's time to play.
Go through your list and pick out a few of your obvious favorites. Take them through the questions below. If you have to come back to the list for more options, try playing with some of the words you wrote down: throw them together and see how well they do with the same questions.
For each name you're considering, ask yourself, your co-brainstormers, and anyone else who will give you feedback, a couple of questions:
Is it easy to say?
Try saying the name aloud to someone who hasn’t already seen your list. Ask them to repeat what you said.
Or ask someone else to read your picks aloud. Is it easy to miss a word or think they said something else?
And as a friend of ours suggested, could you shout the name across a room or down the hall and be understood?
Is it easy to remember?
Is the name catchy, or a common phrase, or a play on words? Is it your personal name, or two or three key words like “Night Owl Cakes”?
Or…is it a clumsy, long jumble of words that you will be asked to repeat three times until finally they ask you to write it down?
How does it look in print? Is it easy to read? Easy to type?
Seriously, print out your list, if it was handwritten. Does the name look okay in print? Are there double letters when the words are printed without spaces (in case you use it for a website)? Are there lowercase Rs and Ns together that will look like Ms in certain fonts? (<- Pointing this one out from personal experience!)
Does the name include an odd spelling of common words? It may be cute, but if you are talking to a potential customer over the phone, or when you don’t have any business cards on hand, and you tell them about your site, will they be able to find it without you spelling it out for them?
A side note: If there are multiple words in your business name, don’t forget to think about initials and acronyms. Remember being a kid, and snickering at what someone’s initials spelled out? Yeah, people never really grow up. You don’t want to wait until you’ve already printed up business cards and registered with your state, to have your kid point out that the initials for your business name spell something funny-to-them-but-not-to-you. Ha!
Is it too long or complicated?
Your food-business name doesn’t have to be short, but a memorable phrase would be great, if you’ll do any online marketing. An ideal length would be around 20 characters or less (with the bonus benefit of being short enough to use as a shop name if you plan to sell on Etsy.com. (Quick, check to see if it's taken!)
You want something short, memorable, or easy to say or spell. Of course, many times an online customer is just clicking on a link, and never really looks at the site address, but if you want them talking to their friends about your food business, you want the name to survive in the game of telephone!
Make sure it’s unique
You’ve found something you like, and it survived the quiz game we just put it through – but is someone else already using it?
Check the following places to see if the names are already being used.
(Even if the name is not being used in your state, if it is a similar business and you want to expand your market later, there could be a conflict.)
Your state registry:
You’ll want to stand out, especially in a local market. Plus, if another company is already using the same name, there may be a copyright or trademark issue.
Your state business registry will let you know if the name you like is already taken, either as a company name (Your Name, LLC, for example), or as a business alias, “doing business as” (DBA), etc. In general, you won't be allowed to re-use a name, or anything close enough to be confusing.
It’s also a good idea to look for similar names being used in your state, and where they may be located, so you can avoid any confusion for your local customers.
You can usually find the business registry on your state's website, under a business category, or Secretary-of-State page.
Note: The name you share with the public can actually be different than your official business name – you might run both ABC Crafts and DEF Cakes under the same LLC (Alphabet Soup, LLC), for example. You can register the separate names as aliases for the LLC, or “Doing Business As” (DBA) ABC Crafts. You could think of the aliases as brand names – you can change them without changing the name of your LLC. They're not set in stone!
Is there someone already using the name on their Instagram or YouTube account? You’ll want to check all of the big social media and video platforms, even if you don’t intend to use them – again, this will help avoid confusion for your customers, and avoid copyright or trademark infringement for you. Besides, if you change your mind later, and decide to increase your social media presence, you’ll already have your preferred name reserved!
If the name is taken in one or two places, you don’t have to rule it out completely. On YouTube, for example, you might use a different channel name that still relates to your food business. Just be aware that if someone with a similar content is using the name, and has large audience, it might affect your options, down the road.
Check for the name on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Pinterest, etc. Search with quotes, with and without spaces: “Potential Name” – you might find that even though the channel name is not in use, there is a video series or an online group that uses the name – will these come up in search before your business does?
If you want to grab a free email address, see if your potential business name is available. For example, try creating a new gmail account: [yourbusiness]@gmail.com. If it’s taken here and in multiple other places, it might be time to consider another name.
Have you considered setting up a website for your food business? Even if you don’t plan on selling online, having a basic page with your business location and contact information can make it easier for customers to find you.
A domain name is basically the web address customers would type in to find you on the internet. You can host a website at that address, which would also allow you to list any products services you offer, along with prices or any other information you would like to include.
You’ll want to check and see if there is already a website under the name you're considering.
You can do this by simply typing the address in an internet browser, to see if someone has a site under that name. If nothing comes up, you can search for your name at domain registrars like NameCheap.com or GoDaddy.com, to see if someone has reserved the name for their use.
How do I prevent others from using the website address?
If you’d like to reserve that name for yourself, you can actually buy a domain address (although it’s more like leasing by the year) from places like NameCheap and GoDaddy, and then it can only be used by you, as long as you continue to pay the yearly fee.
If you do decide to set up a website, you would then attach that domain name to wherever your website is hosted. Examples of hosting companies: Siteground, GeekStorage, or a free service if it’s just a business listing.
Time for a test drive
Once you've narrowed down your name choice, you might want to give it a test drive – create some sample business cards or a sign, print up some product labels, and play with logos.
Does the name seem like a fit? Does it look appealing on your signs and logo?
Get some feedback
Label some products and see what friends or current customers think.
Keep an open mind and listen to their comments, but ultimately, the decision on what to name your food business is yours – if it works for you, use it!
And remember – you can always change it later!
Yes, this may have been a long process, but it's official – your home-based food business has a name.
Now go list that name on your state or local business registry, grab your social media handles, and maybe even grab a domain name for your future website, so you can get back to work on your business!