Domain search

Negotiating a domain name purchase in seven steps

You’re creating a website for your business, and you want to use your catchy and creative name as the title. You also want to use your name in the website’s link so that it’s easy for customers to find and recognize. You don’t like how it looks when followed by your platform company’s name, though, and you’re not sure how to fix that. Here’s your seven-step guide to buying your own domain name.

1. Make sure that your name is not trademarked

When you’re getting started with domain name buying, your first question is whether you can actually use the name you’ve chosen. If someone else has already thought of that name and registered it with the United States Copyright Office, you cannot use it. Think of a variation that’s different enough to not violate copyright law, or pick an entirely new name.

2. Determine whether your name is already in use

Even if your business’s name isn’t trademarked, it still might not be available. Work with a domain name broker or another expert to see if other websites are using your ideal domain name. Your domain name only needs to be one character different from the other company’s, but consider whether you want your names to be so close. Your customers might reach the other page, think that it’s yours, and conduct their business there.

3. Figure out if you can buy the name

When your ideal domain name is already being used, don’t give up hope yet. The owner may be going out of business or starting the rebranding process, meaning that he or she is more likely to sell the name. Ask your domain name broker to approach this other business owner and gauge his or her willingness to sell the name.

4. Set your price

When you learn that the current owner is willing to sell your ideal brand name, it’s time to start the negotiation process. This is where a domain name broker is invaluable because the process of buying domain names is complicated and long-lasting. Your first step is to determine how much money you can spend on your domain name. How much do you want your broker to offer right away, and at what point is the deal no longer worth it?

5. Work out the formalities

If your seller is willing to work in your price range, you’re ready to make a formal contract. First, set a formal timeline so that the process doesn’t drag on forever. Then, establish who will contact who as negotiations continue. For example, will both domain name brokers handle all contact? Will you work with the other business owner or the board of directors?

6. Reach your agreement

As you begin negotiating, remember that you’re unlikely to have the deal go exactly as you would like. Compromise is an important element of all contracts, so while you should prioritize your goals, you must be flexible, too. Avoid becoming emotional during negotiations, even if you’re deeply tied to the name you’re trying to buy. Finally, when you reach an agreement, make sure to get it in writing and have all the parties sign it. Ask your domain name broker to read through the contract one more time to ensure that it’s legitimate.

7. Put your domain name into use

Now you’re ready to create a website that has the domain name you love. Make sure to maximize your deal by promoting your website on social media and in other communication you have with customers.

With the help of a domain name broker, follow these seven steps to successfully negotiate the domain name purchasing process.