Amateur online businesses tend to overlook some legal aspects of registration of a domain name and continue building their business around it. Astoundingly, many people are unaware of the fact that the domain they thought they own is actually property of someone else. This results in frustrating situations where reassertion of the domain name costs lot of money and may force businesses to switch to a new domain name.
How to see who owns the domain name?
You can verify if you actually own the domain name by checking the whois record and verify the following aspects:
- Yours or your business’s legal name should be the registrant.
- Your address and phone numbers are updated and correct.
- All email addresses and contact names are valid.
- Make sure that the contact addresses must be of people that have some legal responsibility towards your business such as directors, office bearers or meta-addresses.
In case you use a privacy protection service, you need to make sure that you posses the rightful and current information. Login to your registration account and access the information provided by the service. In case, you aren’t able to access the information it may imply that you aren’t the rightful owner of the domain name.
What to do if your domain name isn’t yours?
For most businesses, domain names are generally owned by their website developers or any former staff member. In most cases, you won’t find yourself in any trouble however in case your relationship deteriorates with the domain owner, things can get dirty. Therefore firstly don’t panic as there are reasonable solutions for this issue.
Entrusting your web developer with the domain name issues is normal. Web site developers tend to have the necessary expertise and knowledge to buy inexpensive domain names in bulk and help businesses create and host websites. However, you should make sure that the developer establishes your ownership and give you exclusive control over it. Insist that the developer shifts your domain name to an exclusive account, once done simply change the password.
If the domain is owned by a staff member, it will rarely cause you any trouble if the parting was done on good terms. Therefore calmly talk to them to shift the domain rights to the business and present an insightful argument. You can also incentivize them as it is better to spend a few dollars rather than spend thousands in case of any trouble later.
— Shaun (@ShaunHardneck) 16 de julio de 2017