The period between the 8th and 9th centuries was an important one for the formation and development of Chan Buddhism. During this period, early Chan schools such as the Northern 北宗, Southern 南宗 (Heze 荷沢宗), Niutou 牛頭宗, Jingzhong 浄衆宗, Baotang 保唐宗, Hongzhou 洪州宗, Shitou 石頭宗 and others gradually appeared and laid the foundation for Chan Buddhism to become mainstream. However, there are various theories regarding the names of these schools, and their definitions and scope are not always the same in ancient and modern literature. In this paper I look at the names of the various early Chan schools, relying on the works of Zongmi 宗密, as well as other literature and epitaphs. After examining the origins of the names and various problems, I attempt to provide a recommendation of a unified naming system for these schools.