Choosing a Display Name for Your WhatsApp Business Account

Choosing a Display Name for Your WhatsApp Business Account

Communication is a powerful thing. It is the engine powering both personal and business relationships. It is especially crucial for businesses, as they rely on communication to get their message across to their target audience, establish a closer relationship with their customers and prospects, and stay in touch with them, conduct business, solve problems, and more.

Communication can make or break a business, depending on how well the business managers handle it, so it’s important to devote maximum attention to it.

Thanks to the popular WhatsApp messaging platform and its business-oriented department, businesses around the world have an efficient medium to reach an audience counting over 2 billion active users.

If their managers are capable of utilizing it the proper way, that is. To take full advantage of this platform, businesses need to create a WhatsApp business account.

Official vs. regular WhatsApp Business account

There are two types of WhatsApp Business accounts, depending on whether you have access to the WhatsApp Business app or WhatsApp Business API. Signing up with the former will automatically provide you with a regular WhatsApp Business account. Signing up with the latter, on the other hand, with the help of a business solution provider (BSP), will give you an official WhatsApp Business account and all the advantages it offers.

In case of a WhatsApp Business API, your business will have to go through detailed checks by your BSP, and its legitimacy will be confirmed by WhatsApp itself. The evidence of this legitimacy will be demonstrated by the official green badge which will be shown next to your business’ display name in the profile and thread headers in conversations with your customers and prospects.

We’ve already discussed how to create a WhatsApp Business account in terms of general steps. Let’s just remind ourselves real quick: 


a) Signing up with the WhatsApp Business app

  • Download the app, register and confirm your phone number.
  • Create an account with your business’ category, profile picture, and display name.

b) Signing up with the WhatsApp Business API:

  • Sign up for the services of a BSP (such as WATI).
  • Sign up for a Business Manager account (you’ll need a Facebook account to do this).
  • Send your Business Manager ID via email to your BSP.
  • Approve your BSP’s “messaging on behalf of” request.
  • Verify your business policy and display name.

How to choose a display name that can be approved by WhatsApp

Obviously, regardless of which process of creating a WhatsApp Business account you choose, you will need to set up a display name when adding a new phone number to your WhatsApp account. 

Once you’ve entered your desired display name, the WhatsApp team will review it from your Business Manager. Unfortunately, sometimes it happens that the WhatsApp team rejects the proposed display name. Typically, this is because it isn’t in line with some part of the Display Name Guidelines. These are the several basic principles you should stick to when deciding upon your display name if you wish to avoid getting rejected. To get it accepted by the WhatsApp team, your business’ display name has to:

1. Comply with the policies
These include WhatsApp’s Commerce and Business policies, such as not infringing or violating the trademark or copyright of any third party. For instance, a good example of an acceptable display name for a business selling beer mugs would be “Jolanda’s Beer Mugs”, not “Jolanda’s Beer”.
If you have different subdivisions within your business, they can all have their own WhatsApp business accounts, as long as they’re compliant with the policies.

2. Accurately represent your business
Your display name needs to represent your business, its product, service, or department. Even if it’s a test or demo account, it still needs to have an association with your business, reflecting in the display name (for example “Jolanda’s Beer Mugs Test”).

WhatsApp will probably reject a display name if it’s a person’s full name, a generic term (such as “Beer”), a generic geographic location (like “Washington”), a slogan, or a long description. Also, note that an organization affiliated with a government will need to get the WhatsApp team’s specific approval.

3. Be consistent with the external branding

Your business’ display name should have branding consistent with external sources, such as on a company’s website or marketing. In other words, you should use the same wording in your WhatsApp Business display name as you used it in the title in your official website.

For example, an accepted display name would be “Jolanda Jo’s Beer Mugs” (if it’s branded like that on your website). “JJ’s Beer Mugs” (you abbreviated the company name inconsistently with the branding) or “Jolanda Jo’s Mugs” (you removed “Beer” from the branding) will not be accepted.

4. Have a clear relationship with your business

Similarly, your display name needs to have an obvious relationship with your business. In other words, it must be referred to on the business’ website or external media references. This means, for instance, that a name of a charity mentioned on a non-profit organization’s website will be accepted, but a name of a charity that isn’t mentioned on any external websites will not.

If the relationship between the business and the brand isn’t clear, you should indicate it using “by [business name]”, such as “Accessories by Jolanda Fashion”.

You also should use the name of a management agency or any other third party in your business’ display name. For example, you can’t use “Sunlight Agency for Jolanda’s Beer Mugs” as a display name.

5. Correctly formatted, in compliance with the defined rules

There are clearly defined formatting rules you should adhere to when picking out your business’ display name (unless the business is already branded in a specific way that may not be in line with the default rules). These include:

  • Using a minimum of three characters (e.g. “Jo S”, not “Jo”, if the company’s name is “Jo S”),
  • Never using all caps (e.g. use “Jolanda’s Beer Mugs” instead of “JOLANDA’S BEER MUGS”),
  • Avoid using the URL format (no display names like “JolandaBeerMugs.com”),
  • Not adding extra characters, symbols, punctuation, or emojis (so no “@Jolanda’s Beer Mugs” or “Jolanda’s Beer Mugs™”),
  • Failing to use spacing different than in your original business name (if the business’ original name is “JoJoBeerMugs”, a display name like “JoJo Beer Mugs” will be rejected – only “JoJoBeerMugs” is correct),
  • Not adding extra words to your brand name unless they indicate: country/region, department/function, or Demo/Test accounts (e.g. “Jolanda’s Beer Mugs Customer Support” and “Jolanda’s Beer Mugs Iceland” is fine, but “Jolanda’s Beer Mugs Official Account” isn’t),
  • Capitalized first letter of the added permitted words (e.g. “Jolanda’s Beer Mugs Demo” instead of “Jolanda’s Beer Mugs demo”).

You can change the display name up to three times in the first 30 days. After that period, you’ll have to wait 30 days before you can change it again. Also note that, once you’ve registered your business’ contact name on WhatsApp under the official Business account, it might not be possible to change it without losing the verified status.

Don’t wait, communicate

Having the messaging giant reject your business’ display name surely doesn’t feel good. However, we hope you’ll avoid that happening to you by following the simple steps we described in this post. Make sure to also read our article about the other steps on how to create a Business account in WhatsApp, as well as how to verify it.

If you opt for WATI to assist you in this endeavor, we will not only help you create and manage your own official WhatsApp Business account and link it with the WhatsApp Business API, but more. 

With WATI, you’re also getting a unified collaboration dashboard and team inbox for all of your team members. From there, you can all work together, effectively communicate with each other, your customers, and other interested parties. You’ll also be able to receive actionable data-driven insights about the effectiveness of your communication strategies. 

You’ll also be able to communicate with the customers on-the-go via the WATI app. You’ll even be able to automatize customer communication thanks to our WhatsApp bot. Does this sound like something you’d like to have for your business? Then make sure to sign up to the platform or ask us any questions on [email protected] We’d love to hear from you!

WATI is one of the products of Clare.AI, the AI digital assistant startup and online tool combining machine learning with proprietary natural language processing technology to build award-winning customer communication experiences.

Clare.AI’s solutions are used by multinational enterprises and Fortune 500 companies. 
Join our community to get tips & information on WhatsApp Business API.

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