You can register your domain name in many different areas of the world. With top level domains popping up everywhere these days you may be wondering how far you need to go to protect your brand.
Unfortunately there is no simple answer to this question. In the first place it really depends on your scope of business. If you are a purely local business trading only within your region then a local domain name such as yourbusiness.co.uk is a must. To that I would possibly add the dot com version. The dot com version would simply direct traffic to your .co.uk site (people often short cut urls thinking that the dot com version will always get them to where they want to be).
It really doesn’t matter too much to your local business if someone elsewhere has a similar name, for example, yourbusiness.com.au. Their sphere of influence on the brand would be restricted in general to Australia.
If your scope is worldwide then you may have difficulties. The dot com version is the first you domain name that you must protect. I would always add the local version as well, this time the traffic would be directed to the dot com site.
The question then is do you need to also register .pn or .ca or in any of the other domains. There is then the question of dot info, dot org and the other domain types.
If you can afford to register in some of these other country specific domains, it certainly wouldn’t hurt. Will help? Only if you actively build sites under those domain names. Then you can at least pass link back to your main site. Otherwise, I don’t see a major benefit to registering beyond the basics.
There is one proviso to this. If you intend targeting certain regions then it could pay to have a local version of that domain name. This means you will be found in search results for searches that come from that particular region. This can be enhanced by buying hosting in that region as well.
Apart from region specific marketing, stick with the most appropriate top level domain that suits your particular circumstances. There is not a lot damage that the owner of a regional version of your domain name can do, except perhaps in that region.