Anyone can register a business domain name. There are no restrictions.
Be Aware Of Copyright And Trademarks
The only thing that you need to consider is whether you are infringing someone else’s copyright. For example, if you are selling a well known brand of consumer electronics, for example mobile phones, then you shouldn’t be tempted to register a domain name that includes the manufacturer’s name in the domain.
In this case, let’s say you wanted to register (just replace ‘MANUFACTURERS-NAME’ with the brand name): cheapMANUFACTURERS-NAMEmobilephones.com
The chances are that this is infringing copyright and trademark rules and you could leave yourself open to legal action. Either way, it isn’t worth the risk – they’ve probably got a bigger legal team than you.
If you are unsure though, please consult a legal expert to advise you in these cases.
But as I mentioned above, overall there are no restrictions. But there are a few things to be aware of before you register your domain.
Check All Extensions Are Available
Idealy we would recommend getting the main extensions like .co.uk, .uk and .com as a minimum. That way you just take them off the market and prevent the possibility of someone cybersquatting your domain names.
You can always just park your domains so that they point to the main website.
Be Sure Who Will Own The Domain
If you have set up a business and you are the sole shareholder then you have the choice of registering it in your name or in the name of the business.
If you register it in your name then if you subsequently dilute your shareholding or change the ownership structure with new partners coming onboard you would need to agree on the ownership of the domain name at that point.
Or you could just register it in the company name from the start and then it is a business asset and any subsequent change in ownership does not affect the domain as it is owned by the business.
Your Domain Doesn’t Need To Be Exactly The Same As Your Business Name
When it comes to registering your domain name don’t feel constrained that you have to register exactly the same name as your company name. You aren’t breaking any rules by setting up a website that isn’t the same as your company name.
There’s No Paperwork Involved
When you register a new domain name there’s no paperwork involved. Your domain is registered instantly and you’ll receive email confirmation. You don’t need to provide anything like certificate of incorporation or anything like that and you won’t receive a certificate of ownership – it’s 100% online and electronic.
Consider Domain Privacy
When you register a new domain name your personal details will appear on the publicly accessible whois database.
You can avoid this by using the Whois Privacy service. With TLD domains like .com and .net this is a chargeable service.
With UK domains like .co.uk and .uk this is free but it is restricted to individuals only – businesses can not hide their details.
Register Your Domain Name Now And Get Your Hosting Later
Of course maybe you’ve got plans for your business but you’re not ready to set up a website just yet. That’s fine. You can just register the domain name for now to take it off the market and you can put it to use later when you are ready.
Just buy your web hosting when you need it and you can hook it up then when you are ready. It’s a very straightforward process. When you’re ready just order the hosting and when prompted just choose the option ‘I will update the nameservers on my existing domain’.
For a full run down on domains check our Definitive Guide To Buying Domain Names.