You’ve thought of the perfect domain name for your ecommerce business. Now what? The following tips will help you get the domain name you want – even if it’s already taken.
- See if the name is available. There are a variety of websites where you can check available domain names. If the domain name you want is available, you’re in luck and can go ahead and purchase it. If it isn’t, you have plenty of other options.
- Use an alternate suffix. While it is preferable to have a .com domain name, there are a wide variety of other suffixes available such as .biz, .org and .net. You can also get creative and use just about any word as a suffix, as long as it’s not already taken. For instance, if you sell seafood your website could be, “CatchOur.fish” or if you sell ladies shoes, “Fabulous.shoes.” However, while these domain names are funky and fun, they have yet to truly catch on.
- Use a slightly different name. If you want MyDomainName.com and it’s taken, you could try MyDomain-Name.com or MyDomainNames.com. A word of caution on this: the legal experts at Nolo.com warn that domain names that are too similar may result in trademark infringement. If this is the case and a judge decides you are violating someone’s trademark rights, you may have to stop using the name as well as pay damages.
- Trademark infringement works both ways. If you are already in business and wish to use your business name as your domain name, you may be protected by trademark law and have standing in a dispute against someone using your desired domain name. If you don’t want to head straight to court, you can file a dispute with ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. Otherwise, you can file a trademark infringement lawsuit.
- Hire a broker. The great thing about domain names is like almost anything else, they can be bought and sold. If you see a domain name you like but it’s already owned, you can quickly and easily hire a broker to negotiate a deal on your behalf. Keep in mind if the current owner is having a high level of success with that domain name, they may not be inclined to sell or it may cost a lot more than you would like to obtain the domain.
Follow these steps and you’re much more likely to get the domain name you want.