How to Choose a Domain Name

If your searching for recommendations on how to name your business and choose your domain, you’re in the right place. Naming your business can be stressful and for many takes some time. Choosing a name can have huge positive impacts on your business and sometimes negative ramifications if you don't choose thoughtfully. In order to choose wisely, there are a few must-have components that you must consider and a brainstorming company naming exercise that you will find helpful.

how to choose a domain name

Why is finding the perfect name for your business so important?

Your company name is the first thing that your customers will see. It sets the tone even before your customers walk into your door or go to your website. You want to be clear that your company name sums up what your company is about and conveys the right message.

Brainstorming Your Company Name

What you Need

Gather a pen and some post-it’s

how to choose a domain name

If you are sure about what business niche you want to pursue, GREAT, let’s begin! If you think you may need a bit more help finding and narrowing in on your niche, click here for my free guide.

Once you have a good handle on what you want your business to be, then you can go ahead and name your business.

Brainstorming Exercise

Okay, let's get going!

First, set the clock for fifteen minutes. Why? BEcause we all do better knowing that we are on a timeline, it holds us accountable.

Do it now.

Then, start free writing each business name that comes to mind within each post it. Then put each post it on the wall.

The goal of this exercise is to see them all in front of you. Continue free writing until you have at least 30 company names on the wall.

If you need more inspiration, keep reading this blog post as you continue this exercise.

Here are a couple of additional brainstorming tips that I have found useful:

  1. Use a thesaurus
  2. Do a word dump where you write all words relating to your business idea on a sheet of paper and then take those words and put words that make sense together on your post-it’s.
  3. Have a brainstorming session with a friend that you consider like you. That way you have a voice of reason.
  4. Create a mood board of pictures that represent the vision of your business.
Don't get screwed, know the must have tips when choosing a company name! Use a partner to brainstorm the perfect name for your business.

Now, be sure to keep reading as there is much more for you to consider to be sure that you are choosing a name that will not only resonate with your customers, but that you will be happy with for the long term.

Here are the 10 must-have considerations when naming your company

  1. Choose a name that is easy to remember
  2. Choose a name that has an available domain name
  3. Make sure you choose a “.com,” web extension
  4. Choose a name that is easy to spell, type and pronounce
  5. Make it unique
  6. Choose a name that represents your company’s identity.
  7. Research your potential name
  8. Keep it short
  9. Avoid using hyphens
  10. Think long term – Don’t get caught in the hype

1. Choose a name that is easy to remember

Choose a business name that is easy to remember for your customers. Find the perfect domain name.

Keep in mind that the easier the company name to remember, the more likely your customers will remember it too.

Don’t get caught in the game of the average Jo company names where it does not resonate with your customer.

Try to think of names that are catchy and memorable. When evaluating potential contenders think about what grabs your attention the most.

Once you have come up with your name, test it on friends and family to see what they think.

2. Choose a name that IS your domain name

Choose a business name that is your domain name.. Find the perfect domain name.

That means that your brand is your domain. The worst thing you can do is name your business and use a different domain name.

This disconnect will not be good for your business. Plain and simple, it’s a no no! Keep it simple.

3. Make sure that you choose a, “.com,” web extension

This is HUGE! You need to be sure your audience can find you and if you have a .net it may get confusing for your customer.

You only have 7 seconds to make a good first impression, says Forbes.

So, use your time wisely and do not confuse your customer! Most people are accustomed to typing in a .com at the end of a web address, so it is only natural that this will be their first inclination when trying to navigate to your website.

4. Choose a name that is easy to spell, type and pronounce

This one is hard sometimes for new business owners because they feel that adjusting the spelling can make their brand unique….and it can, however, there is a thin line between creating a unique name and confusing your customer.

People tend to prefer words that they can understand and relate to over more difficult, fabricated words.

5. Make it unique

By making your brand unique you will help your brand stand out.

If you choose a name that too closely resembles another popular brand it may cause brand confusion.

Try to create a unique name that makes your brand memorable, however do not force a change in spelling as it may further confuse your customers.

6. Choose a name that represents your company’s identity.

Choose a business name thatrepresents your company's identity. Find the perfect domain name.

Bottom line your brand and your brand name need to align to who you are and what your company represents.

It should reinforce the key elements that you want to promote within your brand. Think about the customers you are looking to attract; would they be drawn to this name?

7. Research your potential name

There are so many resources to help you research how to find your brand or company name as well as domain names.

Here are some great websites that can help you further:

8. Keep it short

Brand names do not need to be long, keeping a domain and brand name short and to the point will be easier for customers to remember, to type and to find.

9. Choose a name that conjures up pleasant emotions

Choose a business name that invokes emotion. Choose a business name that is easy to remember for your customers. Find the perfect domain name.

Think about some of your most favorite brand names and why you may be drawn to them. Remember Sunny D?

Its name is referring to orange juice, but it’s meaning automatically connects your thoughts to a sunny day, right? Take another example, Blue Moon.

It’s a beer, but when you think about the moon it most likely provides you with a positive feeling and the word blue drives you to think of cold, a.k.a a cold beer.

Incorporating a marketing angle such as invoking emotion for your product or service can provide great psychological benefits to your customers, your brand and ultimately your sales.

10. Think long term – Don’t get caught in the hype

Think long term, choose a business name that will be good for growth in the long run of the business.

Whatever name you decide on you will have to live with for the life of the business.

When creating a personal brand some argue ( that your name may be the best piece of real estate you can buy if you are selling your own personal brand, so do not discount it.

Determine if you would ever sell your business to someone else, if not, then your name is a suitable option.

Be sure not to limit your name to a particular product or city. If so, you limit your company’s growth potential.

By keeping it more open, it allows your company to expand where you see fit and without unnecessary restriction.

Also, do not succumb to trends. It may be great now, but in 10 years will you like that name? Be sure to consider your company name in the long run.

I’ve got a name, now what?

Determine your business type

i.e.) LLC / Sole Proprietor / S Corp / C Corp etc. Defining your business type will impact you come tax time (which is usually quarterly) so make sure that you are up to speed in what is best for you.

Typically, solo entrepreneurs become an LLC or a Sole Proprietorship. If you are an independent contractor doing freelance then you would typically want to be an LLC.

Be sure to register your business with your state. Make sure your name and domain name has not yet been taken.

Register your company type with your state.

Your next steps after selecting a name that suits your business is to check with your state registrar to ensure that it is available.

If you like your business name and it is taken in the registrar you can always choose create a, “Doing Business As,” also known as a DBA.

That way you can register as one name and do business as another.

When you register your company name with your state you will be provided with the TIN (Tax identification number) / EIN (Employer Identification Number; these are sometimes interchangeable.

Buy your domain

Once you’ve selected the perfect domain name for your business, it's time to register your domain before it’s taken.

You can buy your domain off of your host or through another service provider. Typically, these can be purchased for two years at a time.

I decided I wanted a hosting company and my domain all in one to save myself the time and effort, if you want easy and affordable, check out Bluehost here (affiliate link).

TIP: Before you buy your domain, determine if all your social handles (your name on social) is available). Dependent on what platforms you envision for your brand, be sure to claim them immediately.

If you decide that Bluehost is not for you, you can conduct search on sites such as Go Daddy or to see if your domain name/s are available.

Then, be sure to search all your social media handles (aka – social media names) to ensure availability.

For more on your next steps and how to starting a business and launch your website, download my ultimate guide below. I put it together so that no one needs to struggle through the questions that I had when starting my business. Download your today!

If you want to check out my recommendations of the business tools I used to start my website click here.

Best of luck naming your business and I hoped this help provide you with the support you were looking for.

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