What's In A Name?

You choose your business name, try it out on friends and family and then pay out the money to register your domain. There was a time not so very long ago that you could choose from a number of variations on a name; now you are lucky to be able to get it at all.

Businesses going on-line have had the choice of using their brand name e.g., building a brand name, such as, using a descriptive name e.g. or a quick and easy abbreviation like for example. For those who did not take the plunge immediately into the Internet world the options are narrowing. Building a brand name requires time and money and obvious names are often already taken. This leaves a gap in the market for the buying and selling of domain names.

One example of domain trading is the sale last year of for $7.5m (over 4.5m) to a company who wanted immediate web presence. is still for sale; bids need to exceed $10m though.

In South Korea the Industrial Bank of Korea is willing to lend money on the inflated value of a dot com domain name, seeing it as any other asset. Up to 30% of the market value of the domain will be lent, to the limit of 16,000.

Someone who hasn't as yet been able to get the name he wants is Alex Allen, the e-envoy; in issue 17 we said we hoped to tell you what he would be up to. The British government, responding to demands for out-of-hours access to government run services, were hoping to launch a gateway called UK online. Very clear and sensible, except for the problem that a company with the name is already trading and using the brand-name. They are currently 'in negotiations' about the use of the name, which the government hopes to be launching in October.

Site for domain trading: