Whether you are launching a new business or relaunching an existing business, a website and a domain name are crucial in today’s world. But what should you do if the name you want has already been taken? Don’t panic; there are options available to you.
Find the Owner
If you feel the domain name is the perfect name for your business, the first thing you should consider doing is finding out who owns it. To do this, you will need to conduct a WHOIS search. A WHOIS search can give details of who owns it, when it was registered and where an when it was last updated. However, since the data protection laws came into place, domain name owners can now request that their personal information is hidden, so it may be up to you to play detective.
Make an Offer
Once you have found out who owns your dream domain name, you can prepare to make them an offer. Before you do this, do your homework and calculate what it is worth. Some domain names have increased hugely in value over the years and may even have been bought by the current owner from a previous owner. Be prepared to negotiate and be honest about why you want it.
Consider a different name
Set yourself a limit that you are willing to pay, and, if necessary, go back to the drawing board and come up with some alternative names. A great domain name is only one part of having a successful business. You should also consider your individual needs; do you really need a .com or is a .uk acceptable?
If you have a key name or word that needs to be included, it may be worth seeing what is available beforehand, then creating a shortlist and eliminating until you are left with one. You will also need to secure a web hosting service from companies such as https://www.names.co.uk/web-hosting.
There has been a boom in domain name sales and hosting services for local businesses since the UK went into lockdown, allowing small local retailers the ability to continue trading.
If you are absolutely convinced you need the name and you have tried and failed to buy it from the existing owners, consider enlisting a domain broker and make sure you pass all the correspondence on to them.