People starting an Ebiz often get confused when it comes to naming their businesses. If you plan to build a web site, there are actually two names you need to figure out: The name of your business, and your Domain Name (the name of your store/web site). They should rarely, if ever, both be the same.
Your Overall Business Name
If you’re going to do business, you need to be in business. That means you need to form a legal business in your State. Sorry, but that’s a fact, Jack. If you don’t do the legal stuff, you cause yourself all kinds of problems with taxes; you can’t collect money from people’s credit cards, and lots of other bad stuff. So grit your teeth and form a Sole Proprietorship, an LLC, or a Corporation. It’s not as bad as everybody thinks it is, and it turns your online stuff from a hobby into a real, moneymaking business.
When you name that overall business, it should be something very generic. Like Smith Enterprises LLC, for example. The business name is not going to be a name you publicize. It will not be the name of your web site.
However, it will appear at the bottom of your web pages, as in “Copyright Smith Enterprises LLC. All rights reserved”.
It will also appear on your customers’ credit card statements when they order from you. That’s one of the most important reasons why your business name needs to be generic.
Say, for example, that you plan to open an internet store that sells Bowling Shoes. Let’s say you make the mistake of naming your overall business “Bob’s Bowling Shoes, LLC”, and you make your web site (domain) name “BobsBowlingShoes.com”.
Seems logical, right? People come to BobsBowlingShoes.com and buy their bowling shoes from you. They get their email receipt from Bob’s Bowling Shoes, LLC, and when they get their credit card statement later in the month, it shows a charge from Bob’s Bowling Shoes, LLC. So far, so good.
But what happens when you open your NEXT web site, and you sell Pool Toys on that site? You choose the domain name ReallyCoolPoolToys.com, but you still have to put “Copyright Bob’s Bowling Shoes” on the bottom of the site pages because that’s your legal business name. What happens when your customers buy something from ReallyCoolPoolToys.com and get a credit card statement showing a purchase from Bob’s Bowling Shoes, LLC? (They dispute the charge, that’s what happens).
So, if you use a generic business name like Smith Enterprises LLC, you can build as many web sites under as many domain names as you like, and that generic business name makes sense on all your different web site Copyright notices and all your customers’ credit card statements no matter which one of your web sites they buy from.
Don’t get too hung up on what your overall business name should be, either. I’ve seen people agonize over this needlessly. Keep it simple.
Your Domain Name
Just like the web site domain names I talked about above, your web site domain name (your “dot-com” name) needs to be specific to the products you sell. Don’t name your bowling shoes site “SlideAndStrike.com” Don’t name your pool toys site “SplashAndPlay.com”. Cute and clever names and terms have their place in your marketing, but this isn’t one of them.
Your domain name for your web site needs to contain words that describe exactly what you sell.
How They Work Together
It’s important to understand that you do NOT have to set up a separate legal business for each different web site name. Set up your overall legal business (like Smith Enterprises LLC), set up your business bank account with that business name, and then you can buy all the different web site domain names you want with that bank account, and they ALL belong to Smith Enterprises LLC.
This article has been provided by Chris Malta's blog. Find more great information about your online business on Chris's site. HERE.