I've just begun the process of incorporation but would like to secure a domain name. How does this work? Do I need to purchase the domain name underneath the incorporation? Or can I purchase now under any name?
I'm forming an incorporation so I'm protected from my future website business. How does one link the domain name (and website) to the LLC so that I am protected.
You could and should purchase your domain name as soon as possible. Anyone can own a domain name, you dont have to be a corporation. You simply register the domain name using a registration service such as Godaddy.com or Register.com.
Pay for the domain name using your own credit card, since you dont yet have a corporate bank account.
When you get to the step where you put your contacts, you can put yourself or put the name and address of your corporation if you have already set that up. If not, you can always update your domain contacts (WHOIS RECORDS as they are called), at any time.
Last, next year when you renew your domain name, you will have your corporation running with its own corporate bank account. At that point you can pay for the domain name with your corporate bank account to keep expenses organized.
BEST OF LUCK ON YOUR NEW COMPANY!!!
Adding to the earlier answers:
Buy the domain name now. Once your corporation or LLC is formed, you will enter into an Assignment Agreement to transfer the domain name to the entity. That transfer will be part of your contribution to the entity in exchange for your ownership interest in the entity.
Disclaimer: This post does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
Although Franky is correct that you should register your domain as soon as you know it is going to happen eventually, I would like to mention one caveat for consideration. In most cases, privacy from WHOIS records is not necessarily more important than certificates, however an anonymous/protected WHOIS record is something to consider (prior to needing to purchase expensive "privacy protection" from godaddy).
FYI If you do go with godaddy.com per his recommendation, I just registered a domain for 2 years with the promo code "Fan3" and got 35% knocked off. Anyway, enjoy your url.
One caveat: More than likely, the "perfect domain" is already taken. So you may have to spend money to buy the domain you want in a domain marketplace like SEDO.COM or AFTERNIC.COM. Great domains can be very pricey.
In that case, you may want to defer the expense until you're sure you'll be needing it.
You'll want to nab your domain asap if it's still available. People (like me) tend to buy lots of domains just to sell later for higher prices. Once you get your business up and running you can transfer ownership of it to the corporation.
If your domain is NOT available then you would want to wait until you are willing to sink a good chunk of money into getting it.
If it's affordable then I would go ahead and snatch it up. I've been surprised in the past when I would find an available domain, decide to wait, then change my mind 30 minutes later only to find that it's been taken. I've been purchasing mine at godaddy.com.