Will Companies Leap to use .LLC Domains?

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Out of the two best “corporate identifiers” to arrive in the domain market space, .LLC has beat it’s rival .INC to market a few months early.

Last month Afilias — the registry operator of the .info, .mobi and .pro top-level domain, service provider for registry operators of a handful of other new top-level domain extensions — announced the landrush for the new “dot LLC” or .LLC top level domain.

With landrush dates of July 9th through July 20th and then general availability registration beginning July 23rd, .LLC registration is positioned to serve a market of a growing number of existing and new Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) desiring to establish digital presence closely aligned with their existing brand identity, rather than modifying their name or brand to adapt to limited choices in more crowded TLDs.

Although early in its landrush, .LLC registrations are nearing the 3,000 — 2,949 in zone file and 2,684 (91%) parked domains — marker based on stats provided by ntldStats.com.

.LLC stats provided by ntldStats.com

Based on the same stats, Hexonet (GmbH) and GoDaddy are leading the way early with 23.50% and 18.48% .LLC domain registration market share. 101Domain rounds out the top 3 registrars offering .LLC domain registrations with 10.68% market share.

.LLC stats by Registrar provided by ntldStats.com

As opposed to .INC’s hefty $2,000 registration pricing, .LLC has made pricing quite desirable at approximately $30 registration pricing on average. Even with desirable pricing, I find it hard to believe companies would willingly choose to register .LLC domains over the longstanding .COM.

Maybe the near 3,000 currently registered .LLC are brand protection or defensive registrations. Wondering a bit about whether my assumption could be correct or not, I Googled to discover whether or not companies use “llc” as a part of their domain.

From cleaning to electronic to finance to HVAC to web hosting companies, I discovered a number of companies incorporating “llc” as a part of their overall domain and digital presence. In fact, I encountered an Austin-based tree services company arboring the trees of two of my neighbors while retrieving my mail.

Austin-based Certified Tree Care, LLC

Certified Tree Care, LLC - Austin, Texas

Interestingly enough, I was able to speak with Greg Gundersen, Certified Arborist of Certified Tree Care, LLC, briefly about the company and whether or not they knew about the .LLC domain extension. Of course, I was met with a deer in headlights look when I questioned Greg about the .LLC extension. Not only did he not know, but really didn’t care.

So moving right along, I questioned whether or not they had ever considered purchasing the matching .com domain without “llc”.  I was not at all surprised to hear from Greg that there was not a desire to upgrade Certified Tree Care, LLC’s domain.

Most LLC business owners and managers, much like Greg, are too busy and focused on reaching and serving customers to preoccupy themselves with whether or not a new domain extension outside of .com will help any facet of their business.

Based on a Quora entry questioning how many LLCs exist in the United States, there appears to be approximately 20 million registered LLCs.  If this number is indeed true and accurate, this means that the current number of .LLC registrations represents 0.015% of the overall number of LLCs existing in the United States.

The aforementioned percentage is nothing to write home about and I’m not certain it’ll change much, if at all, moving forward.

As I stated earlier, my belief is most companies, specifically LLC entities, are likely not going to transition to using a .LLC domain.

In closing, I would say that 99% don’t know a domain extension dedicated to LLCs even exists, although it’s quite early in its journey.  One thing is certain, and that is time will tell a story of whether or not .LLC becomes the darling extension for LLC entities.

That’s all for now!

Alvin Brown
Alvin is a serial entrepreneur and digital strategist with an avid love for domain name consulting. As the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of DNAdverts.com, his assignment is to ensure business and personal brands don't suffer the consequences of common domain name pitfalls.

As a domain investor and business consultant, Alvin actively participates in daily domain auctions. Outside of auctions, he passionately shares his views, opinions, and vision for how businesses should and should not use domain names to generate greater customer growth and revenue.