A website is a great way for customers and potential customers to locate your business. The first step to achieve this is to establish a domain name; and the best time to do that is at the time of your company registration. Some business operators who failed to register their name at the time of their company registration have found the name has been taken by someone else and is not available when they try to register it later on; sometimes this has been because their competitor has registered the domain name instead.
A website is an effective business tool that can legitimise your business in the eyes of the general business community, including customers and suppliers; and a host of important information so that others outside your company can see what you do and whether they want to do business with you.
The domain name you select is a vital step to identify your internet presence. In creating a domain name, factors such as having a name that customers can easily find, one that fits on a business card and is not hard to spell will likely be a benefit to your business.
Domain names cannot be reserved and there are no restrictions on who can own a domain name; also a person who registers a domain name does not have to be the owner of that business name. It is therefore recommended that you register your domain name at the time of your company registration to secure that name before someone else does, making it unavailable for you. As a defensive measure, many businesses register multiple domain names (such as using .com, .com.au, .net or .net.au) and variations of their domain name at the time of their company registration, to ensure that the preferred choice of domain name, or names, are registered to the company and to restrict competitors from registering a similar name.
Under current domain name rules, applicants for domain names need to demonstrate a legitimate interest or association in the domain name such as: being the same name as the company registration; a registered business or business name; a trade mark; or some other connection between the domain name being applied for and the business which will use this name.
The Australian Domain Name Administrator (auDA) has placed restrictions on domain name transfers, in order to reduce the occurrence of domain name trafficking. These restrictions include:
*Domain names cannot be registered for the sole purpose of resale,
*Domain names cannot be transferred within 6 months of registration,
*Standard domain name transfer forms to improve the administration of the transfer process.
*Parties involved in a domain name transfer are asked to disclose the sale method and price to auDA, with this information (unidentified) published to provide prospective buyers and sellers a better understanding of market prices for Australian domain names.
These measures aim to restrict exploitation and inappropriate registering of domain names, which often prevent and disappoint legitimate business owners from being able to use a domain name that would and should be logically associated with their business name.
So, at the time of your company registration you should check the availability of your preferred company name and domain name; a number of company registration providers include this look-up facility as part of their service offering when registering your company with ASIC. There is no requirement for you to use your domain name straight away, so you can register your domain name at the time of your company registration to avoid any hassle later on. And, if your preferred domain name is not available you can consider other domain spaces including .org.au, .biz or .info depending on what is right for your business.
There is no doubt that a website is an important part of any modern business and if you are forming a company now is the time to consider a domain name.