Every new business nowadays should have a website at some point . . . .
. . .and when you do it needs to represent your business . . .which means having the same name as your new business name . . .
. . . .so when you’re starting out and choosing your new business name it is wise, prudent and sensible to search domain names and consider this very important issue at the same time . . . .
even if you have not got any plans for a website straight away you can register the domain and it will be safe for at least a year . . . .
. . . . until you are ready to build your website, or re-register it, later on.
I’ve learned some negatives of not doing this myself and recently discussed it with a new customer.
They had gone about choosing a limited company name in all the right ways and sat down with their accountant to register their new business name with companies House . . . . .
When you set up a new company, unless you are a sole trader or ordinary business partnership you will have to register with Companies House. . . .
and have a unique name. . . exactly as your website domain must be unique.
. . . however their accountant, being an accountant and not a marketeer, had only checked new business name availability via companies house for them . . . .
. . . so when they contacted myself and my business partner with a request to build them a website . . . . .
. . . . this is where it started to fall down
. . . . because when we checked domain name availability for the new business name that they had just registered at companies House . . . . .
. . . . we discovered that that name was already taken by another business.
Searching other availability on domain names showed that they could have . . . .
. . . . this which is similar . . . . . or that which is nearly the same . . . . . or the other which is a variation with a hypen. . . . . or a dot org instead!
but there is no getting away from the fact that wherever possible, right from the start your new business name should be . . . . . your new business name
. . . . and your domain name should be . . . . . your new business name.
but you still need to follow the rules for choosing a new business name.
and this link is a new name availability checker.
You also need to search the net for domain name availability. There are lots of sites to do this, I just like the layout and clarity of this one . . . .
Once you are sure your new business name is unique then register your domain and register your at companies house ON THE SAME DAY.
and when all those boxes are ticked you can register with HMRC for tax purposes.
But before you start randomly searching, read the rest of this post . . . .
Choosing your new business name domain
If you do not choose your new business name domain wisely you are potentially opening yourself up to a whole lot of confusion . . . . . and I’ll tell you why.
As a sole trader, I did not need to register with companies house, and almost 10 years ago when I first set up my business I chose my new business name based around my own surname . . . .
. . . . (but only because I had a great surname, Wild, that works with what I do – I am not sure Smith ideas or Anderson Ideas would have the same ring to it.)
. . . . and I then registered with HMRC as Wild Ideas – original graphic design.
Back at that point websites were not quite as popular with small businesses and maybe not quite as easy to come by . . . .
. . . . and I didn’t have one for the first few years until a neighbour of mine who coincidentally had a website company had a conversation with me . . .
. . . . and suggested that it would be a very good idea, and he could build it for me.
. . . . .so to keep it short and sweet ideally I wanted to have Wild Ideas.co.uk as my website domain . . .
but when he checked domain name availability for myself we discovered that Wild Ideas.co.uk (and .com) was taken. . . .
. . . . “Linda Wild .co.uk” he said “is available”
“ oh” I said “but it’s not a personal website about me, it’s my business. What about Linda Wild ideas?”
“oh yes that’s available” he said and duly registered lindawildideas.co.uk for me.
. . . in hindsight, and with a bit more care and attention then . . . wild ideas design.co.uk or wild ideas graphic design.co.uk or even wild ideas original graphic design.co.uk may have been preferential choices . . . .
. . . . . although they’re longer, they were more akin to my new business name . . . and they say what I do.
Reason one. . .for having your new business name in your domain name:
It can significantly improve your chances of being found on the internet.
. . . . if you’re a graphic designer . . . . and people search for graphic design and your actual domain name contains the words graphic design . . . .
. . . . then this will be very beneficial in search results.
Over the years most people (who know me) know what my web address is because it’s on the bottom of my email . . . . it’s on my business card, social media links . . .etc
. . . . but the people who don’t know me . . .
and even one of very satisfied customers who with all good intentions to do me some advertising on her Facebook page pasted my website address as wild ideas.co.uk . . . .
this could have led people to a competitor . . . . and the only reason it did not is because . . .
. . . . this domain name is currently not a live website . . . . but it has been purchased by someone else.
because pasting wildideas.co.uk into the actual address bar of your browser will take you to
. . . . that someone else in question thinks that because it’s a fairly clever sounding domain name they will be able to resell it for a 4 figure sum . . . .
and I know this because when I looked into it and contacted them this was the feedback that I got.
well I’m not prepared to pay £1,000 for a domain name that when new would have only cost me £6.75.
. . . . and they were not prepared to accept my very good offer of £300 so there we have it . . . . domain names stalemate.
But this clearly demonstrates why you should stop and think about domain names and incorporate the availability of both domain name options and companies House registrations into the decision making process for your new business name.
There may come a time in the future when someone else is willing to pay the extortionate fee for wild ideas.co.uk
and if that happens it could potentially be detrimental to my own business
but I’ve been around for a long time now and when you paste wildideas.co.uk into a google search bar (which is what more people do) I was pleased to see this result:
so hopefully not too much of a problem.
Reason two. . . for having your new business name in your domain name:
I have another customer who has a cleaning business with quite a long name . . . . Shine Anna Sparkle . . . . . a lovely lady
. . . . . and she suggested her domain name could be SAS cleaning.
nice and catchy you might think . . . . and clever too as we all know what SAS is . . . . .
. . . . but that’s the problem SAS is something completely different to Shine Anna Sparkle . . . .
and people seaching for SAS are not the same people wanting cleaning services are they?
as it happens the domain SAS cleaning was already taken . . . .
. . . . but as her business is Shine Anna Sparkle cleaning then her domain name should be Shine Anna Sparkle cleaning . . . .
. . . .or you are setting yourself up for confusion on what your new business name actually is . . . .
. . . . . if your business name is different to your domain name . . . . what do people call you
. . . and what do you call yourself?
“I am shine Anna sparkle . . . oh but my website is SAS cleaning!”
one person might know you as Shine and Sparkle cleaning . . . . but someone else will know you as SAS cleaning . . .
. . . . and for someone who has no knowledge of you at all that’s two completely different companies . . . . why is that a good idea?
You’ve got to make it easy for people to find you and easy for people to understand you and what who you are . . . .
. . .so choose your new business name accordingly.
This blog is created and written entirely by Linda Wild
Thanks for reading.