Do You Own Your Domain Name?

Do You Own Your Domain Name?

by | Jul 9, 2024 | Branding, Domain Name, Website

If you own your own business, you probably have a good idea about the benefit of having a website. Many of you are likely familiar with domain names. A domain name serves as the unique address that people use to find your website and direct your email. It not only enhances your professional image but also provides several key branding advantages.

However, do you know if you actually own your domain name?

An Unpleasant Surprise

It is not uncommon for businesses to find out that they don’t actually own their own domain name. Usually they discover this when they attempt to update their website or rebrand. This often happens when businesses go through third-party companies to set up and build a website for them. It is standard practice for a lot of website companies to file your domain name under their own business name. It means that these companies own your domain name; not you. And many business owners are caught completely unaware.

How to Discover if You Own Your Domain name

If you don’t know if you own your domain name, you will need to do a search. First, try contacting the person or business that created your website. They should have all of the relevant information and how to go about changing the registration if the domain isn’t under your name.

If you cannot contact your web designer or track down the owner, you can do your own search. Go to ICANN and type in your website address. ICANN will do a lookup and give you owner information. However, if this information has been set to private, so you will not see who the registrant is for the domain name.

If this happens, under Contact Information and Registrant is a Contact Uri link. Click on this link and a contact pop-up will appear. Fill out any relevant information. Remember to add a message that you would like to have your business domain name registered under your name and send off a message to the owner. Two emails will be sent out: one to the owner and one to you. If you receive both…congratulations! You own your domain name! If you don’t receive both, you have more digging to do.

Reclaiming Your Domain Name Ownership

Domain Name Ownership

If you find that your domain name has been registered under a third party’s name, you will need to take steps to transfer the ownership to your control. Hopefully, your email reached the owner and they will contact you. (You may have to contact them more than once.) If they do contact you, request a domain transfer or initiate a domain purchase process. It may involve providing relevant documentation and completing necessary procedures based on the domain registrar’s requirements. Be aware that all domain registrar companies have a nominal fee for transferring domains from one person or business to another.

And, if all else fails or you find this process is over your head, contact a reputable web developer. They have the skills to find where a site is registered and who it is registered to. They can work on your behalf to change the domain name ownership. However, this usually takes some time and money to sort out.

How to Avoid Domain Name Ownership Hassle

Best practice is to ensure you have complete ownership over your domain name from the start. If you decide to work with a third-party web developer, ensure that owning your own domain name is in the contract. Above all, make sure that the domain name is registered under your name or business and you get all of the registration information, along with logins. It will save you time, money, and headaches down the road!

As always, brittakristine is here to answer any questions you might have!

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