You love your new name but can’t have the domain. Now what?

When naming your company, you may come up with a great name but find that the .com domain is not for sale or beyond your budget. Don’t worry. That doesn’t mean you have to settle for the .net or .biz or a less appealing name.

While owning the exact .com domain name is certainly preferred, it isn’t always necessary. You just have to modify or append the name for use as a domain.  Remember: most people will be finding your site through a web search, not by entering your URL. As long as e-commerce isn’t central to your business model and the company name you want is legally available as a trademark, you can add a descriptor after the company name in question to secure a .com domain that should work just fine.

To give you an idea, here are just a few of the descriptors you can append to a company name (depending on your industry), in order to acquire a .com domain:

• Inc

• Group

• Associates

• Systems

• Solutions

• Services

• Technology (or Tech)

• A relevant geographic abbreviation  (e.g., USA, NW, etc.)

• Whatever industry sector you’re in (e.g, Legal, Toys, Branding, Sales, Accessories, Gifts, Foods, Mobile, Supplies…you get the idea)

The trick is to keep the descriptor as short, intuitive, and connected to your brand as possible. Bland is good, too. You don’t want a descriptor that competes with your brand name for attention—you want one that complements your brand name quietly and unobtrusively. It should be a word you can omit, if you want, when using your brand name in other contexts (on business cards, for instance, or in marketing) without detracting one iota from your company name.

The number of successful companies employing descriptors in their .com domains is legion.  To name just a few: Southwest (, Monster (as in or, Wynn (wynnresorts and, Method (, and Catchword ( All these companies have done quite well for themselves. You can too.

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