How to choose a business and domain name


Nearly all businesses have a business name and an online presence of some sort. Choosing a business name is tied to choosing a domain name as it’s often preferable that the two are the same. So how do you choose a business name and domain name?

your name here banner on the side of a building

This post will cover:

  • What type of business name should I choose?
  • What type of domain name should I use?
  • What’s in a name
  • Where do I get ideas for business names?
  • How can tell if a business name is available?
  • What else should I check?

What type of business name should I choose?

First start with your business strategy. Your business name must match the business strategy. Look at the positioning, branding and image you wish to portray. For example, a business name such as cheap as chips matches a bargain outlet.


What type of domain name should I use?

Ideally, the domain name should be the same as your business name. It is often the first contact that you have with your customers, so it needs to be recognisable as your brand. A domain name must be:

  • Easy to read and type. For example, ‘businessservices’ in a domain would be difficult to read and type. All the S’s together make it hard to tell how many there are.

  • A .com should be your first choice. If the .com is not available, look at the business that already has it. Are they a direct competitor? You wouldn’t want people to get confused and go to them instead of you! If the .com is not available, and your business is very different, there are other options. Consider a country extension if you only service a local area or or look at .net. Other extensions can be good alternatives as long as you are sure that your customers won’t type the .com.

  • Don’t use hypens or numbers. You will be forever explaining how your domain is spelt if you verbally tell people. Also, people may forget the hypen or the number (and end up at your competitors).


What’s in a name

Naming a business and domain is different to many years ago. Businesses used to name their business with a letter A, so that it showed up first in directories. They also included a keyword, so that people would know what they did without a description, such as ‘AA cars’. This no longer happens because people no longer use directories in the same way.

Search engines no longer place an emphasis on exact match keywords in the domain like they used to. Generic names like thebestbrandboxes (totally made up!) are no longer given the same relevance as they were. So, a keyword is not necessary unless you need your customers to know upfront what you do.



Where do I get ideas for business names?

There are several places to get ideas:

  • Your business strategy should help you brainstorm ideas for the type of name that you want.
  • Search engines are your friend. Type in keywords that represent your business. Look at what your competition is called and what they do

  • Go to a brandname suggestion market place. There are websites such as, and that list brandable domain names for sale.

  • Look at existing domain names for sale. I have a list of domains for sale that I bought  and am now selling.


How can I tell if my business name is available – checklist

Once you have found a business name you like, don’t set your heart on it. There are still many checks you need to do before committing to a business name. These will save you heartache later on:

☑️Check the name in search engines. Has any other business been using that name? Check the domain on to check it wasn’t used for anything dodgy in the past.

☑️Is the exact domain available. If not, why?

☑️Check social media. Has anyone been using the name as their handle and business name.

☑️Check social media. Has anyone been using the name as their handle and business name.

☑️Trademarks and copyright. This is a tricky area, but essentially, you must not use any name that is even remotely similar to an existing brand or any of their trademarks.

☑️Is the name registered in your country? Different countries have different ways to register a business name. In the UK a sole trader cannot register a business name. Only a limited company can register its name at companies house. In Australia every business is required to register in every state regardless of the type with ASIC.

Other checks

Before committing to your name, double check it is not offensive in other languages (search engine search). Also double check urban dictionary.


Give the name the radio and phone test. Does it sound nice? Is it easy to say and pronounce? Will you forever have to spell it to people! I once used ‘eclectic’ in a business and every single person I spoke it to on the phone mis-understood as electric or it and asked me to spell it.


Finally, and this is a bit woo-woo, but how do you ‘feel’ about it? You are hopefully going to live with it for a long time. Do you feel luke warm about it? Maybe try a few more ideas and sit on them for a couple of weeks to see how you really feel about them before going forward.

Ready to Make Your Idea Come to Life?

I would love to work on your project
Contact me