Choose the right name for your business

Getting your business name on the internet

Even if you are not intending to create a website for your business immediately, you'll probably be using email and want to have a presence on the web at some point in the future. This could be a single screen advertising your business and giving contact details, or it could be a site that allows customers to browse through products, place orders and make payments online.

Choosing a domain name

The website address - for example, my-new-business.co.uk - is known as a domain name. For most businesses based in the UK, a name ending with .co.uk is suitable. Your email address will normally include this name - for example, [email protected]

Businesses and individuals that meet certain criteria can apply for the .eu domain extension - for example, www.my-new-business.eu.

If your business is active in other European Union countries, the .eu domain name can help you market your company as a pan-European business. Find out how to register .eu domain names on the European Registry of Internet Domain Names (EURid) website.

To reserve a domain name for your business, you need to register it through an agent, who will charge a small annual fee. You should do this as soon as possible - even if you're not going to use your domain name straight away.

You cannot have a domain name that is the same name as a company registered with Companies House.

Registering your domain name

  • Decide on a suitable domain name for your website - if you are unable to use one that exactly matches your business name. You can use numbers as well as letters. Hyphens can be used to separate words - but you can't include spaces, full stops or other punctuation. It's a good idea to have a few alternative names in case your first choice has already been taken.
  • Check whether the name is available - the official registry for UK domain names is Nominet. Check whether your chosen domain name is available on the Nominet website.
  • Register the name - this is a simple process which you can carry out online with any registration agent. There are hundreds of registration agents to choose from - a good starting point is Nominet. Find out about choosing a registration agent on the Nominet website.

Subjects covered in this guide


Nominet Enquiry Line

01865 33 22 11

Companies House Contact Centre

0303 1234 500

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