Important to company branding, domain name registration is a competitive market. Registering a domain name insures that any user can find your website with a simple to use name. DNS servers automatically relay the user's browser from the domain name to the physical ip address of your website server. When you register a domain name for your website, you don't actually own it. The internet agency responsible for regulating domain standards is called ICAAN and this organization influences the domain name market. Domain names are rented out on an annual basis and many domain name registration companies offer automatic renewal of domain names. There are many infamous stories of major websites that have lost a tremendously valuable share of the market because they had forgotten to renew their domain name for their website. When they fail to renew their domain names the name is up for grabs and often is snapped up by rivals and competitors that consequently convert the customers to their own companies. You can easily avoid this by registering for 3 to 10 years at a time. Good domain name registration companies will remind you several times by email and sometimes by phone of expiring domain names.
When choosing a company you should go with one that also sells web hosting and other related products. It simplifies the duties of web development, web design, and administration when everything is centralized within a solid account.