What comes first, your company name or domain name?

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Startups usually ask themselves this question early in their naming process: should they decide on a company name and then look for a domain to match, or should they find a domain they can purchase and then base their company name on their domain name?

With so much business being conducted online, it’s actually easier to base a brandable company name around a domain name than the other way around. In fact, older, established companies can have a hard time fitting domain names to their business.

If you’re a startup company, you don’t have to worry about matching a domain to your company. Find a domain you can acquire and then base a brandable company name from that. But beware of any trademark or copyright infringements. Check to see if your name can be linked to another business—just because you’ve never heard of it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist—by using the following link:

http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks-application-process/search-trademark-database

You should also search against your perspective name on Google and see what results you get. These results will give you an idea of how many other domains have similar naming conventions and topics, and how difficult it will be for your new site to rank in Google.

Like we’ve mentioned in previous posts, you should be shooting for a .com. Yes, you can acquire a .biz, .org, .net, .info, and the list of web extensions goes on, but the king of all website extensions is .com. If you don’t have a .com, you don’t have the name, but you most likely won’t be able to hand register a .com. This is where MediaPlow can help.

If you’re looking for some creative business name ideas, feel free to contact us, and we would be happy to assist you.


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