Does it matter if you can't get the .com for your SaaS domain?

I have a product I'm fleshing out at the moment, and a heap of great name ideas. Unfortunately though, most of them have the .com taken, or at a silly premium price.

Is this a blocker for using that domain name?

not really -- here are some endings that you could use:


Thanks, I've been liking the .io for a few, I just didn't want to struggle against an existing (inactive) .com down the line!

I've struggled on this for a long while. If i don't get the .com and its taken by a separate owner whose doing something different and wont be confused for mine. I'll pick

  • .app
  • .so but only if i can get a direct short word for it.

Fair comment, maybe I've been worrying about it too much

I'd typically pick a name where there's at least an upgrade path down the line to get the .com

So while you may not need it now, it would be smart to pick a name where the .com is unused even if it's at a high price right now. Long term, a good .com helps establish credibility and prevents any customer confusion.

This was my original concern, I feel like not having it may cost credibility should I look to garner significant investment or exit values down the line..

You're right though, just being unused, even if it's $10k and unattainable now, would be a good thing! Maybe that can be where I draw the filter line. Thanks!

This is a good strategy. I fear however it forces me to launch in stealth. Someone could easily grab the [.com] domain at that high price before you're able to buy it :( .

Current situation - juicy [.com] domain is available at $3,495 !

lol just noticed is some weird 90s crypto site 😆

If you believe SEO isn't dead yet ;) then getting a .com domain is key for driving traffic. It’s also important to mention that you've got to dive into the SEO game with a smart site structure and lots of pages aiming to rank for a whole bunch of keywords.

I'm not sure what I feel about SEOs state of affairs lately, but this is a good answer! I've learned with my latest site that pre-planning site structure initially is worth it!

Smart strategy might be building a website that's valuable in itself, in case if the original idea doesn't work out. Think of becoming a go-to resource site that you can eventually monetize through sponsorships, affiliate link or info products. Anyway that's my way of thinking behind making any website.

Not a huge blocker, but there do seem to be some cases out there where getting a .com will improve reach & conversion. Levels demonstrated this with remoteok a few years ago.

IMO, do as Marc says, or try and find a different name you can use for the .com (even if it's a new app name)

Just jumped in to reading about RemoteOK, good reference!

I'm at the app-name-decision phase of a would-be project right now, so easy to change, which is what drove the question. I have my original ideas but the .coms are all gone or are premium, but I'm able to be flexible at this stage

You don't need one, but it's a non-zero trade-off if you get big enough to sell. So, it's not a blocker, and we can't predict success. I'd focus on the idea and build it out, and if you have enough money that you don't know what to do with, then pursue a .com is a good way to fill your week 🤣

I'm still in the phase before my first big success, so having money I don't know what do do with isn't a thing yet :D Good call about the non-zero trade off though!'s a grey area. I would check to make sure the name isn't trademarked and the .com domain name isn't linked to a product similar to yours (especially one that's well known).

1.) You don't want to get sued.
2.) You don't want to build brand awareness, authority, and equity for someone else.

For example, let's say I were to create a product called Convert Kit, and let's assume the ESP Convert Kit is NOT trademarked. (It probably is though.) Let's say my Convert Kit SaaS is to help people create AI-based landing pages and sales pages to convert their audience and I also sell templates in a kit. (Best I can come up with at 10am that still kinda makes sense lol.)

In this example, I wouldn't use Convert Kit as the name or get a domain like convertkit(dot)ai because CK is a very well-known brand name in the SaaS space, and it would only lead to brand confusion. I'd have to fight against CK's domain authority to have a shred of opportunity to even rank on Google, and I'd be constantly saying, "No, not that Convert Kit; here's what this does."

To me, it's not worth it.

So you have some research to do and hard decisions to make. Always, ALWAYS check trademark status before doing anything because you'll otherwise waste time, energy, and money -- plus opening yourself up for massive legal risk. Just do your due diligence; it's not hard. Talk to a lawyer if you don't know how to look up TMs. Then do a cost-benefit analysis to see (1) how similar the products/brands are and (2) how established are they (and can you outrank them to earn that brand equity).

Solid answer, thanks!

I've been making sure in all cases that the proposed names don't come up with anything of note in Google to avoid the risks above, but that would indeed be an easy trap to fall into, and would suck!

Is there a way to check trademark status globally, or conveniently that you know of?

You're welcome! We don't know what we don't know, so it's always worth mentioning to people. I know I sure didn't know a lot about this stuff, even after almost 10 years freelance writing 😹 I'm a lot more mindful about trademark, copyright, and brand equity issues, though, so I try to keep that top of mind for others.

Also, you bet! Here are my favorite resources to check. There's no real international database (yet -- why not, I don't know!) that's totally comprehensive, so I like to check a few sources.

If it doesn't come up with either of these, you're probably in the clear. I'd consult a lawyer about it, though, just to make sure, once you're ready to take that leap.

Awesome resources, thanks for taking the time to do that!

You're welcome! They're bookmarked for easy access because before I do any brand strategy work for clients, I have them take a few seats while I double-check their brand name, just in case (since most newbies don't think about TM infringement).

Also, I've had a personal friend who got trapped in this, except she had created a whole brand but never made it officially legal and someone swooped under her, trademarked the name first, sent my friend a cease & desist, and there was nothing my friend could do. She lost literally everything overnight and had to immediately rebrand.

(I helped her with the PR and rebrand, and we fortunately were able to not only save her audience but grow it BECAUSE the way we told the story strengthened her positioning. But still -- tragic it happened at all.)

People are really out here being shady, and it's not cute.

(This was in the online coaching space and the woman who swooped her brand name was in her community, by the way. It got pretty ugly for a while.)

The biggest piece of advice: Protect yourself and your assets (including intellectual property) at all costs.

Nah these days in tech anything goes haha

nope. and if it makes you a lot of money (your app) you can buy the .com domain later.