A dot-com company, or simply a dot-com (alternatively rendered dot.com, dot com, dotcom or .com), is a company that does most of its business on the Internet, usually through a website on the World Wide Web that uses the popular top-level domain ".com".
The suffix .com in a URL usually (but not always) refers to a commercial or for-profit entity, as opposed to a non-commercial entity or non-profit organization, which usually use .org. Since the .com companies are web-based, often their products or services are delivered via web-based mechanisms, even when physical products are involved. On the other hand, some .com companies do not offer any physical products.
While the term can refer to present-day companies, it is also used about companies with this business model that came into being during the late 1990s with the rapid growth of Wide World Web. Many such startups were formed to take advantage of the surplus of venture capital funding and were launched with thin business plans, sometimes with just 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.
The stock market crash around 2000 that ended the dot-com bubble resulted in many failed and failing dot-com companies, which were referred to punningly as dot-bombs,dot-cons or dot-gones. Many of the surviving firms dropped the .com suffix from their names.