Domain Name Services

While trademark clearance can be extremely challenging, securing an exact .com can be even more difficult.

Startups, spinoffs, and renames often require a .com domain, or occasionally, another global top-level domain, also known as a gTLD. Multinational corporations often require the exact URL worldwide—meaning the .com plus potentially dozens of country code domains, otherwise known as ccTLDs.

Beyond creating names with a higher likelihood of domain availability or purchasability, we routinely assist clients with domain acquisition, assessment, and brokering. We keep up to date on the business, trends, and regulations of domain names and attend domain conferences every year.

Not every company needs the exact .com (not sure? see these guidelines), but every company beyond the smallest mom-and-pop should have a domain name. Catchword can help.

Domain Name Availability & Counsel

Our domain-name availability services include the following:

  • Search to determine .com availability of name candidates and assessment of purchasability
  • Determination of market value via comparables and negotiation strategy
  • Development of common mistypings and suggestions of alternate spellings that should be registered for forwarding to your site
  • Development of descriptors to add to your name if the exact .com is not available
  • Counsel on whether gTLDs should be purchased

Domain Name Brokering

We can also help with the acquisition of your new domain. For unregistered domains, we can guide you through purchase and registration. If you wish to acquire a domain that is already registered, we may assist you or refer you to one of our expert domain name broker partners.

 

Domain Name Services – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

 

Do I need a domain name?

Every company larger than a local mom-and-pop needs a website and an appropriate domain name for it to live at. So if you are naming or renaming a company, you will definitely need a domain name, though it doesn’t have to be the same as your company name.
Companies naming a new product or service can usually use their existing domain and just add a subpage (apple.com/iphone). The exception is when the product name rather than the company name is how you expect your audience to find you, as is often the case with consumer goods (we shop for Febreze, not Procter & Gamble products, so customers visit febreze.com for information about that product.)

What are the different types of domain names available to me?

Your domain name is made up of two parts: the characters before the dot, and the domain extension, which comprise the characters after the dot (.com, .org, .me). Together they make up a unique address, your website name. This means that catchwordbranding.com and catchwordbranding.biz are not the same domain name. Some of the most well known, and therefore desirable, domain extensions are these top-level domains (TLDs):

  • .com
  • .net
  • .org
  • .co
  • .io
  • .me
  • .tv
  • .cc

Of these, .com is still the most popular by far for for-profit businesses. Originally, .net was intended for internet service providers or networks, but now can be used by anyone. Nonprofits tend to use .org, though it isn’t restricted to that type of entity. The extensions .co, .io, .me, .tv, and .cc have been gaining traction, particular for tech and media companies.

Do I need an exact .com? Can I append a descriptor to secure a domain name?

The exact .com domain name is not a must these days unless you are an industry leader or blue-chip company (needing the stature of a .com), expect to do business primarily through online sales, or advertise a lot on TV or radio (where it may help to have a memorable address like shamwow.com). Most people will click a link or use search to get to your site rather than type in an address.

If the exact .com isn’t available, don’t panic! The truth is, most reasonably short domains have already been registered. Assuming you’re not able to negotiate a reasonable purchase price, there are several ways to create a great domain name.

Using a descriptor (a word that tells what you do) is a great way to find an available domain name. We did it (catchwordbranding.com), and it works perfectly for us. You can also use a call to action, tagline, search term, or other phrase for your website. For example, health-insurance company Oscar lives at hioscar.com, presumably because oscar.com is owned by the Academy Awards, and City National Bank uses bankatcity.com because a Canadian bank already had cnb.com and citynationalbank.com.

Do Catchword names come with exact .coms?

At the beginning of the name-development process, we determine whether an exact .com is a high priority for you. If it is, we recommend name styles that are more likely to be available, such as coinages or multi-word names, unless you have the budget, desire and grit to secure a real-word domain. Preliminary screening will provide an idea of what domains are available, and we will advise you accordingly.

If you absolutely need a .com, you may wish to turn to The Catchword Accelerator, our collection of premium brandable domains, perfect for new companies with a short timeline to market.

How much do domain names cost?

The cost of an unregistered domain name is simply the small annual registration fee—around $10 or $15 for a .com, depending on the registrar you use. A registered name, on the other hand, can cost up to millions of dollars to acquire (if it’s even for sale). Like many things, domain names are worth what the buyer is willing to pay. However, you can expect a highly brandable domain name to cost between 4- and 6-figures.

How do I buy a domain name from a domain-name owner? Can Catchword help me buy a domain name?

Catchword is happy to help clients with domain-name acquisitions, or in the case of more complex or high-ticket transactions, refer them to one of our experienced domain broker partners. An experienced domain negotiator can save you significant time and money by:

  • assessing the fair market value of the domain, and what budget you should set aside
  • gauging the likelihood that the owner of the domain will sell
  • providing information on the owner, including other domains they may own
  • shielding your identity if you’re a large company or anyone else who might be presumed to have deep pockets

Even if a domain name isn’t listed for sale, you may be able to acquire it, though you may need the help of a domain name broker. If the owner is open to selling, be sure to use an online service like Escrow.com to keep everything transparent and secure on both sides. They’ll hold the money until the domain is released to you (a polite way of making sure no one cheats).

Does Catchword sell domain names?

The Catchword Accelerator, a division of Catchword, is an ultra-premium selection of brandable domain names at varying price points. These domains have been curated and registered over the course of two decades of naming work for hundreds of clients around the globe.

Catchword Accelerator

Need an exact dot-com domain for your company or product?

The Catchword Accelerator is a collection of ultra-premium brandable dot-com domains—merging the best in messaging, memorability, length, and flow.