Free Parking (www.freeparking.co.nz) allows you to quickly find out who owns a specific domain name you may be interested in. Since many web site domain names are registered but never used, this is a great tool to track down the contact details of the owner, allowing you to make an offer to purchase it.
Because ‘online business’ means doing business internationally, you should make sure the domain name you choose does not infringe on any existing trademarks. Domain name disputes tend to go to the trademark holder, so even if you have the web site domain name you could have it taken away.
Consider establishing a trademark on your name - during this process you will discover any possible infringements. For information on establishing a New Zealand trademark go to http://www.iponz.govt.nz. You can also do a free search of US trademarks at the US Patent and Trademark office’s website at www.uspto.gov.