With all of the record labels in existence, it probably feels like all the good names are already taken, right? Furthermore, how do you find the right name representing your brand and speaks to your target audience?
How do you make the final decision?
If you’re struggling to name your record label, don’t worry. You’re in the right place. In this article, I cover some of the top tips for naming your new business and how to make sure the name is legally available for you to use.
Let’s get started!
Related: How to start a record label
Helpful Tips and Tricks for Naming Your Record Label
Naming a business is hard, especially if you don’t have any ideas or a place to start. So, before you dive in, grab a piece of paper and a pen or open up a blank spreadsheet.
Then, use it as a place to brainstorm ideas and write down words or phrases that come to mind as you go through the tips below.
From there, we’ll talk about how to narrow things down and land on the perfect name.
1. Keep It as Short as Possible
Short business names are usually snappier, catchier, and easier to remember. Ideally, you want to stick to two to five syllables and hopefully no more than 25 characters total.
However, the shorter the name, the better.
With that said, there are exceptions to this, and it’s not a hard rule. But, when you think about huge, notable brands, which ones come to mind?
Nike. Apple. Ikea. Febreeze. Target. Honeywell.
They’re easy to remember because they’re short, simple, and brandable.
Obviously, there are exceptions to these rules. But typically, the shorter and simpler your name, the easier it is for everyone to remember.
2. Avoid Words That Are Hard to Hear and Pronounce
Voice to text and voice search is more popular now than ever before. So, it’s important to consider making your name easy to pronounce and hear.
To do this, avoid using:
- Commonly misspelled words
- Complex terms that are hard to spell
- Words that have several pronunciations
- Homophones like to, too, and two
Try to keep things as concise and simple as possible.
3. Consider Music Related Terms
Since you’re opening a record label, it might make sense to include common words used in the music industry, especially if you’re feeling stuck. It may help to start brainstorming terms, phrases, and words to get all your ideas down on paper.
A few examples of this could include; Audiophile Records, Bassivity Music, Good Vibrations, or Higher Octive.
For a boost of creativity, expand use the thesaurus to find synonyms around the words of what your business does. You can either use the thesaurus function from your word processor or thesaurus.com to develop additional synonyms.
From there, you can cross off bad ideas or any terms you don’t like.
4. What’s Your Specialty?
What musical genre do you specialize in? Maybe you do hip hop or rock or country.
Regardless of your specialty, consider alluding to it in the name of your business.
5. Neighborhoods, Cities, and Nicknames
Including the name of your city, street, or neighborhood is an excellent way to encourage local shopping and create a strong sense of community in your area.
You can also think about nicknames for your city or neighborhood, as well. Here are some examples to use as inspiration:
- East Side Digital Records
- Creole Records
- Albany Recording
With that said, make sure the name you choose isn’t limiting if you decide to move or expand your record label down the road.
Still Needing Inspiration?
Here is a list of existing record label names that may help give you some creative name ideas. While many of these names may be available for you to use, be sure to check first to be sure it can be used.
Tips on how to check business name availability are after the list of names!
- Audio Fidelity
- Audio Ruckus
- B Studios
- Barely Brothers Records
- Bay Eight Studios
- Billinium Records
- Broadway Records
- Canary Classics
- Chaotic Records
- Cookie Record Company
- County Line Music
- Darling New Media
- Dash Five Star Studio Corp
- Dew Records
- Eight 4 Productions
- Faith Love & Peace Records
- Feral Note Studios
- Ghost Hit Recording
- Goose Creek Music
- Graveyard Records
- Ground Up Studios
- High Noon Recording
- Higher Ground 44 Records
- Hub City Studio
- Inpop Records
- Kingheir Music
- Krazy Sound Studios
- Major Label Records
- Mastiff Studios
- Modern Blues Recordings
- Music Junkie Studios
- Our Generation Music
- Phaedra Records
- Rat Pak Records
- Rip Squad Entertainment
- Smithsonian Folkways Recording
- Sorry State Records
- Sound Trak
- Spinning Brain Records
- Steezy Society Records
- Studio 5 Hundred
- Sunbrimmer Records
- Swamp Gang Records
- Trenton Lundy Music
- Triple Exclusive Studio
- Twin Flame Records
- United Record Label
- Warner/Chappell Music Inc
- Wave Up Records
- We The Boss Music
- What’s The Point Productions
Finding the Perfect Name: Putting It All Together
By now, you should have a lengthy list of words, phrases, and terms you can use in your record label company name. At this point, I highly recommend going through and removing any that are hard to spell or pronounce.
Now, you can start combining pieces together until something stands out. It may help to create a list of potential names you can use. From there, you can narrow things down to your favorites.
But before you make your final decision, your new name must pass a few tests.
Say It Out Loud
Make sure you say your new name out loud. It may look great as a logo, domain name, and on a business card. But it also needs to sound good when you say it out loud.
You can also sit down with someone and talk about your business. Does saying the name in casual conversation sound natural? If not, you may want to consider something simpler or easier to say.
Lastly, think about how to incorporate your new name into a logo. Logos should be simple, memorable, and indicative of your brand.
Take Apple, for example. Their business name easily incorporates into a logo. And today, it’s a household symbol that everyone immediately recognizes.
A logo is an important part of your brand identity, so don’t forget to consider turning your name into a memorable logo as you make your final decision.
Related: How to create a logo for your business.
Checking the Availability of Your Top Considerations
At this point, you should have several top considerations to choose from. And the best way to narrow it down further is to check each one for availability.
This step is vital because using a name that someone else is using could be very costly, time-consuming to rebrand your record label business, and possibly embarrassing too. There are several places to look to check whether a name is available to use, so let’s walk through each one.
Trademarks are the most critical, so we’ll start here.
If a name or phrase is trademarked, you’re not allowed to use it in a similar capacity. So, run a trademark search for each business name you’re considering and cross off those that aren’t available.
Learn more about how to do a trademark search before choosing a business name
Just because there isn’t a federal trademark on a name doesn’t mean the name you want is available. That’s because there is a trademark known as a common law trademark. A common law trademark isn’t filed anywhere but provides someone who uses that name in commerce some limited rights in their geographical area to use the name. It can be hard to define how far geographically these rights extend as each industry is different. Still, at a basic level, someone can’t open a business and name it the same or similar name as a competing business in town. If you think the name could potentially create confusion with customers, it is usually best to find another one to use to avoid potential legal issues down the road.
To do a local search, open up the phone book (if you still have one), and do a Google search to see if there are any local competitors with a similar business name to the one you want to use.
Cross off any similar names from your list and take the rest and let’s keep checking.
State Entity Search (If Applicable)
If you plan to register your record label as a corporation or LLC, you must register with a unique business name. Each state requires every corporation or LLC to register a unique name for their entity. This doesn’t necessarily protect your name from anyone else using it, but nobody can register a corporation or LLC under the same name in your state.
Related: Is your business name available?
If you find the name is in use, cross it off your list and move on.
Domain Name Availability
Website addresses aren’t as critical as the first three searches, but it’s still worth doing. Typically, you want your domain name to be “yourbusinessname.com” with the .com address and without any numbers, dashes, etc.
It’s easiest for customers to remember, but these are hard to come by.
However, you can explore other configurations and extensions if your preferred domain name isn’t available. Just remember your customers may have a more difficult time finding you online.
You can start with NameCheap’s domain search tool. Type in the domain name you want to use to see if it’s available. The tool also returns other possibilities you may want to consider.
Social Media Profiles
Next, especially if you are stuck between a couple of names, check and see if anyone is already using your potential record label names on social media. Consider which platforms you plan to use and start with those.
Keep in mind you may have to shorten your company name for some platforms. Twitter only allows 15 characters, for example.
Start with your preferred platforms and do a quick search for your name. If nothing pops up, that likely means no one is using it, and you’re good to go.
Example: Someone is using startingyourbusiness on Instagram, so I would have to choose a different handle, making it more difficult for customers to find me.
Hopefully, you now have some catchy name ideas for your record label. Once you have this list narrowed down to just a few and researched that they are all available, start asking friends, family, and potential customers their thoughts to get feedback and then pick your perfect record label name!