Choose the right name for your business

Getting your business name on the internet

Guide

Even if you are not intending to create a website for your business immediately, you'll probably be using email and want to have a presence on the web at some point in the future. This could be a single webpage advertising your business and giving contact details, or it could be a site that allows customers to browse through products, place orders and make payments online.

For further information see website hosting options.

Choosing a domain name

The website address - for example, my-new-business.co.uk - is known as a domain name. For most businesses based in the UK, a name ending with .co.uk is suitable. Your email address will normally include this name - for example, enquiries@my-new-business.co.uk.

You cannot have a domain name that is the same name as a company registered with Companies House.

Brexit and .eu domain names

You are not able to register or renew .eu domain names if:

  • your organisation, business or undertaking is established in the UK but not in the EU/European Economic Area (EEA) or
  • you live outside of the EU/EEA and are not an EU/EEA citizen

You may still satisfy the eligibility criteria if you have your registered office, central administration, or principal place of business within the EU/EEA, are established within the EU/EEA, or are a natural person resident in the EU/EEA.

UK registrant who cannot meet the eligibility criteria will have their existing .eu domain names withdrawn.

Withdrawn domain names will not be available to any other entity for a further 12 months. On 1 January 2022, all the withdrawn domain names will be revoked and made available for registration by other entities.

Find out more about registering and renewing .eu domain names in the UK after 1 January 2021.

Registering your domain name

  • Decide on a suitable domain name for your website - if you are unable to use one that exactly matches your business name. You can use numbers as well as letters. Hyphens can be used to separate words - but you can't include spaces, full stops or other punctuation. It's a good idea to have a few alternative names in case your first choice has already been taken.
  • Check whether the name is available - you can check if your chosen domain name is available with Nominet, the official registry for UK domain names.
  • Register the name - this is a simple process which you can carry out online with any registration agent. Nominet provides further information on domain names.
  • Start a business Helpline
    0800 027 0639
  • Nominet Enquiry Line
    01865 33 22 11
  • Companies House Contact Centre
    0303 1234 500