What’s in a name? How to name a startup in 2023

Discover our top five tips for deciding on a trendy business name that will wow consumers in 2023.

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Written and reviewed by:
Helena Young
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Business names are important. Bad ones can kill a company before it’s even got off the ground, by making it impossible to define who your brand is, and how you stick out from the competition.

Like expectant parents, most entrepreneurs will already have a name picked out for their bundle of joy. But companies need to be careful not to fall in love with a title that might give off the wrong first impression to customers or investors.

More than just a wacky, memorable moniker, a business name needs to be an accurate reflection of how your firm is meeting consumer needs, today and in future. Because of this, savvy founders typically go with a catchy handle that fits with the current zeitgeist.

So, how are the leading new organisations of 2023 choosing to style themselves?

We’ve come up with a list of five winning formulas based on the fashionable business owners behind this year’s top 100 startups. Put down that Business Baby Name book, and let’s get started!

1. Make a long story short

Marie Kondo fans, relax – minimalism is still in. Large corporations like Apple and McDonalds have already made the shift towards simplified logos, colour palettes, and font styles.

Names, it seems, are no different. Single names are in vogue: 72% of all the companies that featured in this year’s Startups 100 Index had a one name title.

Today’s digital world has consumers easily distracted by hundreds of companies yelling over each other. Shortened names ensure you’ll be remembered in a soup of information.

One-word descriptions can also make a complex topic easy to grasp. Particular praise must go to the healthcare specialists in the Startups 100 that used portmanteaus (two words squashed into one) to explain a sophisticated business model, like PocDoc and CoolMed.

2. Add an ‘.ai’ at the end

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has very quickly turned from an underrated Steven Spielberg film, into reality. All the popular kids are doing it, with Bing building ChatGPT into its search function, and Google catching up with its own system, Bard.

Companies utilising this technology are ahead of the curve and they rightfully want to shout about it. Among the many companies in our Startups 100 list adding ‘.ai’ to the end of their titles were Jiva.ai, Gigged.ai, and PolyAI.

The lesson here is to make your USP as clear as possible within your title. Knowing that you have a sought-after technology like AI will bring the dual benefits of building investor and customer confidence.

3. Lose your ‘e’s

Whatever you call it – SMS language, textspeak, textism, or textese – texting is now one of the most popular forms of communication between humans.

Many of our top companies chose to appeal to their growing online customer base by creatively misspelling their names through vowel deletion (fun fact; this is also delightfully referred to as ‘disemvoweling’).

Tech brands seem to favour this spelling error. UniTaskr, Worldr, and Ambl have all dropped the ‘e’ to show that they are doing something different and innovative in the online world.

4. Say goodbye to capitalisation

There is a real case for going lower case in 2023. for peat’s sake!, bide planet, and onHand are three examples of startups that have let their hair down to embrace a more informal organisational culture post-pandemic.

Just like adopting a more relaxed office dress code, avoiding capital letters will ensure your brand gives off an approachable vibe to more easily connect with audiences. This is particularly effective in the era of social media, where punctuation and grammar has all but gone out the window.

This allergy to corporate custom is not just evidenced in startups. Other famous names that have recently banned the block capital in their logos include Adidas, Amazon, and eBay.


Plenty of firms on our list are shouting for customers’ attention by branding their business in upper case to assert a strong presence in the market this year.

Examples include AUDIOMOB, SURREAL, and LOANHOOD, all of which need to stand out in the busy sectors of advertising, F&B, and retail.

Impressing your customers from the get-go with loud and proud branding can also help a brand like SURREAL, which offers high-protein, plant-based cereal, to feel more premium.

Examples include the famous luxury brand Dior, which announced that it was changing its brand name to an uppercase version, DIOR in late 2018.

You’ve chosen a business name – what next?

So you’ve decided on a clever and catchy business name. Next, it’s important to jump on registering a business name as soon as possible. Also known as incorporation, this is necessary to protect your name being snaffled by a potential rival.

There are benefits to doing so, such as paying less tax. You’ll also secure a name for your firm, which makes things easier if you want to apply for a trademark further down the line.

For more help on getting started, check out the below guides:

Written by:
Helena Young
Helena is Lead Writer at Startups. As resident people and premises expert, she's an authority on topics such as business energy, office and coworking spaces, and project management software. With a background in PR and marketing, Helena also manages the Startups 100 Index and is passionate about giving early-stage startups a platform to boost their brands. From interviewing Wetherspoon's boss Tim Martin to spotting data-led working from home trends, her insight has been featured by major trade publications including the ICAEW, and news outlets like the BBC, ITV News, Daily Express, and HuffPost UK.

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