How important is the domain extension for a new online store for a small business? (.com, .ca, .co)

I am in the process of getting my idea off the ground and need to register a domain name. The business name/brand that I want does not have the .com domain available. I’m based in Toronto and could use the .ca extension, as it is available.

I’ve read that .com is the most universal extension. If I change my name/brand slightly, the .com would be available for the slightly different name. Depending on the importance of the domain extension, I may or may not want to change my desired business name. I’m just starting out, but I have dreams of expanding my business/brand as I grow.

I’ve also come across .co as an alternative. What advice can you give me about domain extensions? Is it worth it to keep the business name/brand I want and go with a .ca or .co?

(FYI the .com that I want is currently a parking page and I’m not that interested in pursuing brokering a deal to obtain it as I’m just starting out.)

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