No matter how big or small your business is, companies of all sizes need professional email. Having a business email address that uses your own domain name (e.g., email@example.com) makes your brand appear more professional, credible, and legitimate. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about business email, including how to easily set up your own professional business email address in just minutes.
What Is Business Email?
A business email address is a custom email address that uses your company’s domain name (i.e., yourbusiness.com), such as firstname.lastname@example.org, as opposed to an address like email@example.com. Every business that uses email needs to have a professional business email address as a baseline requirement to appear professional and credible. Additionally, it also helps recipients remember your email address, which builds brand awareness.
Here’s why you need to have a professional business email address:
- Appear professional: For your company to be taken seriously, you need to have coherent professional branding, which includes email.
- Increase brand awareness: A business email address uses your domain name, which often includes your business name.
- Build customer loyalty: A professional email address not only increases brand awareness, but also conveys integrity and reliability.
Business Email vs Personal Email
In short, if you want to appear as though you’re a legitimate and trustworthy organization, then you need a professional email. And professional email always uses your own custom domain name, which reinforces the brand of your business.
Business Email Cost
Business email can be very affordable—or even free—depending on what your needs are and where you get email from. For example, you can connect your domain name to email provider Google Workspace for $6 per user, per month. However, you could also get a free domain name and email hosting for multiple email addresses by purchasing a web hosting plan from Bluehost for as little as $2.95 per month or $5.45 for unlimited email.
Here are the costs involved with email that uses your own domain:
- Domain name: For starters, you’ll need a domain name. If you don’t already own one, you can purchase one through a domain name registrar such as GoDaddy for around $12 per year.
- Email hosting: In addition to a domain name, you’ll also need email hosting. This can be through an email service provider like Microsoft 365 for $12.50 per month or Google Workspace for $6 per month, or through a web hosting provider, which may include free business email, such as with Bluehost for just $2.95 per month.
Money-saving tip: If you still need to build a website, you can get both a free domain name and free email through providers you will likely already be using. Learn more about how to get free business email.
Ways to Get a Business Email Address
There are a number of good email hosting providers that offer quality plans at low prices. For a small business, the overall best is hands-down Google Workspace given its top-notch features, from productivity and collaboration tools to advanced security that protects you, your staff, and your accounts from hackers. However, Bluehost is the best for those who need a high volume of business email addresses, and Zoho is best for businesses and solopreneurs on tight budgets.
Top Business Email Providers
If you want to know more about email providers or which might be best for your business, get a more detailed look at the best business email providers.
Professional Email Address Formats
Choose an email address format your business will use across all staff members and accounts to ensure that your company’s email addresses are consistent, cohesive, and easy to remember. There are five formats that are most commonly used: first name only, last name only, a combination of first name and last initial, a combination of last name and first initial, and departmental email addresses.
5 Popular Email Formats
First name only (not usually recommended)
Last name only
Combination of first name and last initial
Combination of last name and first initial
Need more guidance? Get all the information you need on choosing a professional email address.
How to Get a Business Email Address in 3 Steps
No matter which way you get your business email address, the steps will more or less be the same. First, decide where you want to get your business email from, whether that’s through a web hosting plan (e.g., Bluehost or DreamHost), an all-in-one-site builder (e.g., Squarespace), or one of the best cheap email hosting providers (e.g., Zoho).
Next, create your custom email address. Your provider should also have documentation so you can then easily connect your new business email address to Google Workspace by updating MX records, to Outlook using IMAP and SMTP settings, or to your preferred email handling app.
Here’s a quick overview of how to set up a business email account for professional use in three steps:
1. Get a Domain Name
There are a number of ways to get a domain name, including domain name registrars (e.g., Domains.com) or for free through a web hosting provider (e.g., Bluehost). Ideally, your domain will be your business name. However, if your desired domain isn’t available, get more insight on how to choose a domain name.
2. Go to Your Chosen Email Provider & Register for an Account
Navigate to the provider of your choice (e.g., Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, or Bluehost) and create an account. For example, go to Bluehost.com and choose a web hosting plan, which comes with a free domain name and free email hosting for five email addresses for as little as $2.95 per month. Or, go to Google Workspace, select a plan, and follow the registration prompts.
3. Set Up Your Email Account
After selecting a domain and creating an account, the next step is to create your username. For example, those using Bluehost would be redirected to their user dashboard, where they can click Advanced from the left-hand menu > Email Accounts > +Create > enter your desired username and password.
Again, if you select a provider such as Google Workspace or Microsoft 365, you will simply follow the prompts to set up your business email address. Follow along with detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to create a custom email address.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the difference between a .com & a .net domain extension?
The domain extensions .com and .net are both top-level domains (TLDs). However, each extension represents a different type of business. The .com stands for commercial entities, whereas .net stands for a network. Given that, the .com is the most popular and more versatile domain. The average business will find the .com to be the best solution. For more insights, check out the full comparison of .com vs .net.
How do I get a domain name?
There are a couple of ways to get a domain name. The most common way is by using a domain registrar like GoDaddy, but it might be better to get one free through a provider you might already be using.
For example, site builders like Squarespace and Wix include a free domain name with annual plans, and those building a site on WordPress can get a free domain name through web hosting plans with Bluehost and DreamHost. Learn more about what a domain name is in our domain name overview article.
Which is better: Google Workspace or Microsoft 365?
Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 are both leading productivity suites that include everything from word processors and cloud storage to email hosting. They are somewhat similar in terms of pricing and tools, although Google Workspace is more affordable for small businesses and collaborative teams.
However, which is better for your business will depend on which features you value most and, for many, whether you prefer Google products or Microsoft products. For more information, read our full breakdown of Google Workspace vs Microsoft 365.
Business email addresses are a necessity. Luckily, they are neither difficult nor expensive to get thanks to a number of business email providers, like Google Workspace, Zoho, and Bluehost. To quickly set up your business email, choose a provider and create an account, select a domain name, set up your email account, and connect it to an email service provider like Apple Mail or Microsoft 365.
If you’re still on the fence about which provider to use for business email, try Google Workspace. It’s the best value and with month-to-month billing, there’s no commitment or risk.