Domain Names For Startups

Extension

This is the first topic because of the importance – don’t be swayed by anything else you’ve heard or read.

Your primary domain(s) (company, app, product, etc..,) should always be the .COM extension.  I also suggest registering or acquiring the .NET and .ORG extensions if possible to help protect your brand(s).

Wait – let me guess – you heard that .IO, .LY, .CO, and other extensions are great for startups.  The technical answer is you could use them, but if your company, product, or app becomes wildly popular – the .COM extension owner will now want 10x, 20x, or even 100x what the price was BEFORE your company, product, or app was popular.  This tip alone can save you and your company tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in the future.

Your phone defaults to .COM, people think of .COM first when typing it in a browser, and .COM holds an intrinsic trust factor.

 

Length And Other Factors

Length – yes length matters – get the shortest domain possible.

Hyphens – do NOT register or buy a domain with hyphens – period.

Numbers – do NOT register or buy a domain with numbers unless it’s the exact name of your company, product, or app.

 

Legal

IMPORTANT – I am not an attorney and am not providing legal advice.

You’ll want to check USPTO.gov (TESS) to see if there are any registered trademarks for any domain before purchasing or registering it.  This alone can save you and your company a tremendous amount of money and sleepless nights.

I always suggest that people use an attorney when forming companies, creating products or apps, and for general guidance.

 

Prices

Registering a domain will cost you around $10, but buying one that someone is selling will usually cost $1,000 to over $1MM.

There are many factors that come into play with pricing, but expect most one-word domains to have a price tag of $20k, $50k, $100k, and up.  There are also many two-word domains that have similar pricing due to the keywords, age, length, or demand for them.

For example – in 2016 I helped my friend Noah Kagan (#30 at Facebook & other accolades) acquire Sumo.com for a mere $1.5MM.

If you would like our help in negotiating the best possible price for you as your broker, just contact us here: https://domainvip.com/contact-us

 

Company Domain

Before you form your company, do a Google search to see if any companies appear with the same name.  If so, you should probably consider a new name.

Now it’s time to check if the domain is available to register or purchase. Let’s say your company name “Widgets, Inc”.  If the domain Widgets.com was for sale, I’d imagine it would have a 6-7 figure price (if you can afford it, buy it).  The next variation to try for is WidgetsInc.com and this would have a higher likelihood of being available to register or purchase.  If neither of these are available, you should consider forming a different company name with a domain available for purchase or registration.

You can check for a domain here on DomainVIP or at Godaddy

 

Product Domain

Do a Google search to see if any products or companies appear with the same or similar name.  If so, you should probably consider a new name.

Now it’s time to check if the domain is available to register or purchase.

Product – let’s say your product is named “Super Widget”.  See if SuperWidget.com is available to register or purchase.  If not, try a few variations like SuperWidgets.com or MySuperWidget.com.  I highly recommend trying to get the exact domain that matches your product instead of a variation.

App – let’s say your app is named “Super Widget”.  See if SuperWidget.com is available to register or purchase.  If not, try a few variations like SuperWidgets.com or SuperWidgetApp.com.  I highly recommend trying to get the exact domain that matches your app instead of a variation.

You can check for a domain here on DomainVIP or at Godaddy

 

Conclusion

Not every startup can afford the best possible domain before they launch, but you can be almost certain that once you launch the company, product, or app that the price of that domain will skyrocket.

I’ve helped countless companies acquire the .COM after they launched their company, product, or app on a .IO or other extension simply because it’s a must own.

The other thing to consider is buying the name now and making payments on it over time.  You can use a credit card, line of credit, or even use Escrow.com to pay it over 12 months for extra fees.