A dot-com company, or simply a dot-com (alternatively rendered dot.com, dot com or .com), is a company that does most of its business on the Internet, usually through a website that uses the popular top-level domain ".com".
While the term can refer to present-day companies, it is also used specifically to refer to companies with this business model that came into being during the late 1990s. Many such startups were formed to take advantage of the surplus of venture capital funding. Many were launched with very thin business plans, sometimes with nothing more than an idea and a catchy name. The stated goal was often to "get big fast", i.e. to capture a majority share of whatever market was being entered. The exit strategy usually included an IPO and a large payoff for the founders. Others were existing companies that re-styled themselves as Internet companies, many of them legally changing their names to incorporate a .com suffix.
With the stock market crash around the year 2000 that ended the dot-com bubble, many failed and failing dot-com companies were referred to punningly as dot-bombs,dot-cons or dot-gones. Many of the surviving firms dropped the .com suffix from their names.