Starting a Small Business? Don’t Forget This Important Step

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When you are starting a small business, you have a lot to think about. You’ll need to make a business plan, open a business bank account, and decide how to structure your company, among many other vital decisions.

As you’re taking care of all these tasks, it’s easy to forget one important step. Doing so could be a big mistake, though, so don’t forget to check this item off your to-do list.

Make sure to do this when you choose a business name

When you have selected a name for your company, one of the key steps you will want to take is registering the domain name. For example, if you’re starting a restaurant called Molly’s Hot Dogs and Wings,” you’d likely want to try to register a website with some variation of that name (like www.MollysHotDogs.com) or even the entire name.

You’ll want to do this because it is inevitable that people are going to eventually search for your company online — if for no other reason than to find your contact information or your hours of service. Even if you aren’t quite ready to make a website yet, you’ll want to have your site available to you once it comes time to jump into online marketing.

Registering your domain name can also protect you from having your brand tarnished by someone else registering the name of your business and creating a website that could damage your reputation. For example, this has happened to political candidates who didn’t register their own names and who ended up with someone else buying the site and posting an ad for their direct competitor.

With around 76% of US adults shopping online and many people turning to the internet to learn about local companies even when not buying over the internet, you cannot afford not to care about the web presence of your new company. And, this all starts with getting your domain name.

How to register a domain name

If you want to register a domain name, you’ll first need to make sure no one has it registered already.

You’ll then need to purchase the name and complete the registration process using a domain registrar. There are several different ones including Google Domains. You will likely have to pay an annual fee to have the domain registered, which can vary depending on whether you want your web address to end in .com, .net, .org, or some other ending.

Once the domain name is yours, you can put up a website at your convenience. If someone else already has your chosen name, though, you may need to track down the owner and try to purchase it — which can be expensive if the name is popular.

It’s important to go through this process, however, as you ideally don’t want anyone else to have your business name as a website as that could make it harder for people to find you online and create brand confusion as well. Take care of this task to protect your company’s online identity and have peace of mind knowing that your company’s online presence is yours alone to control.

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