If you’re struggling to name your canoe and kayak rental business, don’t worry. You’re in the right place. In this article, I cover some of the top tips for naming your new business as well as how to make sure the name is legally available for you to use.
Let’s get started!
Related: How to start a kayak rental business
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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 Water-Related Terms
Since you’re opening a kayak rental business, it might make sense to use water or outdoors-related terms in the name. It may help to just start brainstorming terms, phrases, and words to get all your ideas down on paper.
A few examples of this could include; Adventure Water Sports, Mountain Paddlers, River & Adventure Toys, or Up A Creek Kayak Rental.
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 come up with additional synonyms.
From there, you can cross off bad ideas or any terms you don’t like.
4. Phrases Your Audience and Competition Uses
Your business exists for your target audience, so it’s important to consider phrases and terms they use when talking about kayaking.
There are quite a few places you can look to see what your customers (and competitors) are saying, including:
- Facebook groups, posts, and stories
- Forums related to the kayaking
- Competitor websites, brochures, and flyers
- Magazines or blogs
Alternatively, you can ask friends or relatives in your target audience. Hearing it directly from them may help you brainstorm and narrow down your choices.
Remember to avoid anything limiting your business’s future growth if you decide to go in another direction down the road.
5. Area-Related Names
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:
- Beach Rentals of St. Augustine
- Gulf Coast Kayaks
- Kayaking in Florida
- Whitewater of Georgia
With that said, make sure the name you choose isn’t limiting if you decide to move or expand your kayak rental business down the road.
6. Incorporate Your Name
If you’re still struggling to find the perfect name, consider using your name, a nickname, or something personal and unique to you.
This is a fantastic way to build a personal brand if that’s something you want to do. Some great examples of this in action include:
- Bobby’s Kayak
- Carver’s Kayak Rentals
- Kayak Zac’s
- Bills Kayaks
If you go this route, keep in mind it may make it harder to sell your kayak rental business later on.
7. Example Names for Inspiration
Here is a list of existing kayak rental business names that may help give you some creative ideas. While many of these names may be available for you to use, be sure to check first to be sure the name can be used.
- 4 Corners Whitewater
- A Kayak Shack
- About Kayaks
- Above Board Paddle Co
- Action Water Sports
- Adventure Center
- Adventure Kayak Of Cocoa Beach
- Adventure Kayak Outfitters
- Adventure Mountain Sports
- Adventure Water Sports
- Adventures By The Sea
- Adventures Kayaking
- All Wet Sports
- Almost Heaven Kayak Adventures
- Aloha Kayak Co
- American Outdoors
- Balboa Kayaks
- Bay Side Adventures
- Bayfront Beach & Bike
- Beach Rentals Of St Augustine
- Beach River Kayak Rentals
- Bear Traditional Kayaks
- Big Fish Kayaks & Water Sports
- Blackwater Canoe Rental
- Blue Planet Kayak
- Blue Sky Adventures
- Blue Waters Kayaking
- Boat Locker
- Bobby’s Kayak
- Bodega Bay Kayak
- Boredom Killer Kayaks
- Brew City Kayak
- California Canoe & Kayak
- Carver’s Kayak Rentals
- Central Coast Kayaks
- Central Florida Kayak
- Cheap Rentals Mission Beach
- Coastal Kayak & Sailing
- Coastal Paddleboarding
- Coastal Watersports
- Crystal River Kayak Co
- Descanso Beach Ocean Sports
- Desert River Kayak
- Dolphin Kayak Center
- Earth Adventures Unlimited
- Eco Paddlesportz
- Econfina Creek Canoe Livery
- Egin Lake Adventures
- Enjoy Napa Valley
- Fast Lane Sailing & Kayak Center
- Fin Factory Kayak & Tackle
- Florida Bay Outfitters
- Florida Keys Kayak & Ski
- Fluid Fun Canoe & Kayak Sales
- Four Corners Riversports
- Get Outside
- Go Bananas Watersports
- Go Kayak
- Gulf Coast Kayaks & Paddle Boards
- Hawaiian Paddle Sports
- Hometown River Co
- House Of Kayaks
- Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center
- Hunter Springs Kayaks & Tours
- Idaho River Sports
- Indian River Marina & Kayak
- Island Outfitters
- Island Style Watersports
- Kayak Chicago
- Kayak Fish & Supply
- Kayak Hub
- Kayak Power
- Kayak Shack
- Kayak St Augustine
- Kayak Zak’s
- Kayaking In Florida
- Kayaks By Bo
- Keys Kayak
- King Kayak Hawaii
- LA Jolla Sea Cave Kayaks
- Lake Almanor Kayak Rentals
- Lazy Dog Adventures
- Lightning Kayaks
- Liquid Fusion Kayaking
- Liquid Surf & Sail Miami
- Lisa’s Kayaks
- Malibu Kayaks Of Florida
- Maxx Rentals
- Mountain Paddlers
- Mr. Bill’s Kayaks
- Naples Kayak Co
- Ocean Paddlesports
- Oceanside Dive & Kayak
- Outside World
- Ozark Kayak
- Pack Rat Outdoor Center
- Paddle Away Kayaks & Paddle
- Paddle Hut
- Pure Water Sports
- Rent That Kayak
- River & Adventure Toys
- River Valley Kayaks
- Riversport Kayaks
- Sail & Kayak Shop
- South Pacific Kayaks
- Southwind Kayak Center
- Sunjammers Watersports
- Sunrise Mountain Sports
- Surf & Ski Watersports
- Sweetwater Kayaks
- Tahoe Adventure Co
- Up A Creek Kayak Rental
- Up North Kayak Rentals
- Urban Kayaks
- Venture Quest Kayaking
- Vibe Kayaks
- Viking Kayak
- West Coast Paddle Board Rentals
- Whitewater Of Georgia
- Wildcat Canoe & Kayak Too
- Wilderness Way
- Yosemite Bicycle & Sport
8. Check if Your Name is Available to Use
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 business, and possibly embarrassing. 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.
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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, but 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 just 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 kayak rental business as a corporation or LLC, you have to 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.
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” 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 . 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 kayak rental business 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 on Instagram, so I would have to choose a different handle, making it more difficult for customers to find me.
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 business 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, it’s important that your new name passes 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.
Hopefully, you now have some ideas to name your kayak rental business. 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 kayak rental business name!
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