Are you excited about your business idea and finally ready to take action? Great! One of the first exciting steps in setting up a business is deciding on a name. Hand in hand with choosing a name goes choosing the company’s domain. We’ve put together five steps to make choosing a business name and domain as easy as possible for you.

The business name can be used to communicate the identity, values, and service. It can also be used to create an image and differentiate you from your competitors. The PRH (Patent and Registration Office) name service makes it easy to check whether the name you are looking for is available and whether it is different enough from registered companies and trademarks.

In addition, it is important to check in the domain search that there isn’t another company’s domain name corresponding to the name you have chosen. The domain plays an important role as it helps customers find the website online. Having your own domain can also be used in your company’s email address, enhancing credibility and recognizability. Just like your company name, there are a few key things to consider when choosing a domain.

1. Choose a concise name and domain for your business

A clear and concise name makes it easier for customers to recognise and remember your brand. A business name can be an effective communication tool that differentiates your company from your competitors. In addition, a clear name is easy to communicate and spell, making the company easier to find and remember.

A domain often consists of the company name or an abbreviation of it, but this is not mandatory. However, the domain should be in line with the name of the website and company’s story. Consider how to make your domain as clear and concise as possible.

2. Consider using keywords in the domain

Using keywords in your domain can be useful to improve the search engine visibility of your website. Including relevant keywords in your web address can improve its ranking in search results. For example, if your business sells cleaning services, it may be wise to include the word “cleaning” in both your business name and the domain you register. However, it is important to use keywords naturally and carefully to ensure that the web address remains clear and easy to remember.

3. Check the availability of the company name

Before making a final decision, you must ensure that the name you want is available. The PRH name service makes it easy to see whether the name has already been registered for another company or whether it has been used in the past for business purposes. Also make sure the name is not too similar to your competitors. This will avoid potential problems and confusion in the future.

4. Ensure the availability of your domain and domain extensions

After checking the PRH name service, make sure that the domain name you want to register is free for registration and that the domain extensions you have chosen are available. You can check if the domain is free in our domain search.

There are a huge number of domain extensions to choose from. For companies operating in Finland, the national .fi domain is a popular choice. The domain .com is also widely used and globally recognized. Other domain extensions should also be considered, especially if you are aiming for your brand’s recognition in global markets. For example, companies based in the Nordic countries can obtain national domains from those countries, or a company based in an EU country can obtain a .eu domain. Other common domains include .net, .org and .online.

By owning multiple domain extensions, you can minimize the risk of your customers being misdirected to the wrong website because of your web address. In addition, by reserving multiple domain extensions you ensure that these domains are not reserved by others.

5. Foreign letters and special characters in domains

Does your desired domain contain foreign letters (äåö) or special characters? Foreign letters can cause compatibility issues, especially in international systems and email inboxes. It’s recommended to reserve a domain where foreign letters are replaced with letters such as a and o, as well as a parallel domain with the original letters. For example if you plan to register äänittäjä.fi it is recommended to also register and use emails with the domain. In this way, the parallel domain directs users to the same website as the main domain.

Just as with foreign letters, for domains containing special characters it’s advisable to reserve two different versions.

One step closer to establishing your own business

Once you’ve completed these five steps, you’ve taken a significant leap towards officially registering your company name! You can check if your desired web address is available for registration through our domain search. You can reserve domains even before starting your company as an individual. This ensures that they’ll be available for you after the company is established. Later on, you can transfer the domains you reserved personally to your company.
Read more about starting your own business on the The Federation of Finnish Enterprises’ (Suomen Yrittäjät) website.

Written by Virpi Ollitervo, Marketing Coordinator