.CA or .COM — which should Canadian businesses use?

November 10, 2016 - Tags: E-business Marketing

This guest post is provided by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), the organization that manages the .CA domain name registry in Canada. CIRA helps small businesses, entrepreneurs and startups get their businesses online.

One question many Canadian entrepreneurs have when setting up their website is “Should I register a .CA or a .COM domain name?” Choosing the right domain name extension for your website says a lot about your business and sends important signals to both potential customers and search engines about your website.

Here's a quick breakdown:

Why register a .CA domain name

  1. You're a Canadian business selling to Canadian customers
    A .CA domain name will immediately brand your website and business as 100% Canadian. Since the .CA has Canadian presence requirements, only Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and businesses can register a .CA. Moreover, Canadian consumers have a strong affinity towards .CA websites — 77% of Canadians say they prefer supporting Canadian businesses and 64% agree that Canadian businesses should have a .CA.
  2. You're selling online to Canadians
    Not only is the .CA domain viewed as safe, secure and trusted by Canadian Internet users, but research shows that Canadians are more likely to perform online transactions on .CA websites since they trust Canadian companies, know that they will be charged in Canadian dollars and that they won't have to deal with additional taxes and duties for shipping across the border.
  3. SEO benefits in Canada
    Your .CA domain name will tell search engines that your site is Canadian, meaning that it's likely more relevant to searchers in Canada. Furthermore, since Canadians prefer .CA websites, they are more likely to click through on a .CA listing in a search result.
  4. The .COM is already taken
    There are currently over 125 million .COMs registered worldwide. With only 2.5 million .CA domain names registered, it is far more likely that the domain name you want will be available in a .CA than in a .COM.
  5. .CA gives back
    A portion of the proceeds of .CA registrations goes toward the Community Investment Program, which funds innovative projects that give back to Canadian communities. Just by registering a .CA, you're helping build a better online Canada.

Why register a .COM domain name

  1. You're doing business outside of Canada
    If your business sells products or markets to customers outside of Canada, it is a good idea to also secure a .COM domain name (or whichever domain name extension is relevant to that market).
  2. You want to protect your brand
    Many organizations register their domain name across multiple top-level domains or TLDs in an effort to protect and control their brand. Domain names aren't expensive, and by registering both the .CA and the .COM, you are preventing it from being registered by somebody else (like a competitor, for example).

The bottom line

If your business is based in Canada and markets to Canadian consumers, the .CA domain is the obvious choice. Also register the .COM version of your domain if you are planning to target an international audience or if you're interested in protecting your brand.

Find your .CA domain name today.


Comments

Posted by Canada.ca on April 18, 2017
Hello Sonja,

Thank you for contacting Canada Business. We are always happy to help you with questions about starting or growing your business in Canada.

To help you plan for a successful start to your venture, check out our Starting a business page for some of the things you'll need to take care of. Our Business start-up checklist can help you with the basics like planning, organizing, registering, and hiring.

Even if you don't have a physical street address for your business, you should be aware of the requirements for selling to customers in the areas you plan to target. Our blog article, "E-commerce: what to consider when selling online in Canada" gives you an idea of some of the things you'll need to look into, including taxes and ant-spam laws. Our page "Overview of charging and collecting sales tax" has information on charging sales tax to customers in Canada and abroad.

Visit our page, "E-business security, privacy, and legal requirements" to find information on legal requirements, including taxes and GST/HST, as well as several strategies that can help you reduce the risks you and your customers face when doing business online. You can find more information in the "Electronic commerce" section of our page "Using technology in your daily operations".

Before making any business decisions on taxation, please refer to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and your provincial or territorial revenue agency. The CRA's "E-commerce" page contains information on e-commerce and on reporting requirements for doing business on the Internet.

If you have further questions about starting or growing your business in Canada, please contact us for assistance.

Good luck with your eBooks business!
Posted by Sonja on April 16, 2017
I want to start an online-business selling e-books, my customers are from german speaking countries - German, Austria, Switzerland
How do I register this business, which taxes do I have to collect?

Thanks Sonja
Posted by john on January 18, 2017
[...]
I liked your description about .ca and .com domains. I have definitely seen advantage of having .ca domain if business is Canada based. I have Canadian [Ed.: .ca] websites [...] which are getting better PR and DA than my .com site because of the reasons that you mentioned here .
Thanks alot
Posted by Canada.ca on November 15, 2016
Hello Naeem,

Thank you for contacting Canada Business. We are always happy to help you with questions about starting or growing your business in Canada.

To help you plan for a successful start to your venture, check out our Starting a business page for some of the things you'll need to take care of first. Our Business start-up checklist page can help you with the basics such as planning, organizing, registering, and hiring.

It's a good idea for you to have a plan in place for all aspects of your business, particularly if you are starting small. For more information on preparing your business plan, you can visit our Business planning page for sample templates, FAQs, and more. Most potential investors and creditors will require a solid business plan so they can understand the thinking behind your numbers. Our program search can help you find government programs and financing to help you start and grow a business.

If you have further questions about starting or growing your business in Canada, please contact us.
Posted by Naeem on November 10, 2016
I want information about small business with minimum amount give me details thank you [...]
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