As a business owner, you might be considering securing an official domain name for your website, but how do you do that exactly? To keep from wasting time, business and possibly even money, you’ll want to make sure you’re aware of the process and that you’re clear on the definition of a domain name.
Understanding Just What a Domain Name Is
In most cases, the domain name is the same as the website or business name. What’s more is that a domain name might be protected by a trademark, which means you’ll want to make sure you aren’t accidentally infringing on an existing trademark when you’re deciding on your domain name. Be sure to conduct a thorough online search of the domain name you’re considering to make sure it hasn’t already been chosen. Should you attempt to claim a domain name that already exists, even if you do so accidentally, there’s a chance you could face legal charges, much like Amazon.com did when they were sued by the Amazon Bookstore in Minneapolis.
The Domain Name Registration Process
Once you’ve done your research and have determined the domain name you desire for your business is available, you’ll need to apply to a domain name registration authority. After you’ve been assigned your domain name, no other website will be able to share that name in the future. One thing to bear in mind is that this doesn’t mean the registration authority has checked to ensure there isn’t an entity that has the same name or a similar name, which you’ll have to do either on your own or with the help of a search firm.
You might also want to take steps to make sure your domain name can’t be taken from you in the future, which is a likely possibility. To do this, you’ll need to register your domain name as a trademark. The trademark process involves showing the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office you offer your product or services online. You must also utilize your specific domain name in a way that distinguishes and identifies your products or services from other companies. You’ll also need to indicate the source of your products or services.
It’s not unusual for companies to block other businesses from successfully registering domain names that are derivatives or similar to their own. This is achieved by registering a number of different variations of their domain names, which you might want to do yourself. It should be noted that technology still far outpaces the courts’ efforts to protect businesses from derogatory and derivative domain names. What this boils down to is there’s still a chance someone else may claim a domain name that’s similar to yours even after you’ve registered a number of different variations.
Building Your Business Website
Once you’ve successfully registered your company’s domain name, you’ll want to make sure you take proper steps in building it in order that your domain name and business will sustain a good reputation. For instance, ensure your website is quick to load, easy to navigate and pleasing to the eye. It’s best to use your website yourself as if you were a customer to ensure everything operates as it should. It won’t do you much good to go through the effort of registering your site’s domain name if no one ever visits your site because it’s such a mess.
While you may not have a very large budget for creating your business site, paying for legal and expert help when it comes to creating your domain name is sure to pay off in the long run. Seek the help of a legal expert or website developer should you ever require assistance. Paying for assistance now is much better than paying for avoidable complications in the future.
The content on our website is only meant to provide general information and is not legal advice. We make our best efforts to make sure the information is accurate, but we cannot guarantee it. Do not rely on the content as legal advice. For assistance with legal problems or for a legal inquiry please contact you attorney.