Who owns your Domain name?
article compiled by steve


We had previously stated that we were going to be looking at what you need from your hosting plan, how to select the best one for you to prevent your website being blocked as you have used all your “air time” for that month. However, we have altered the order of the articles that make up this mini series as we have come across too many of these ‘real life’ situations.


In the second part of our mini series about web hosting (click here to read first part), we are going to look at web site names or domain names to give its correct term.
Domain names can be bought on their own or together with a new hosting plan.


When you consider buying a domain name and hosting for your website, most people will look at different web hosting companies. Most offer you a package deal with a free domain name. Generally these can save you some money.

However if you are already in possession of your chosen domain name, please read on as the next few minutes could be vital for the long term future of your business web site.


Not too long ago it was common practice for Internet Service Providers ( or now your broadband company) to register your new domain name on your behalf. The thing that they didn’t tell you was that they registered your domain name in their personal name. Therefore they became the legal registrant (or owner) of your domain name. This resulted in many companies large and small, finding out that they weren’t the legal registant (owner) of their domain name.


Sadly these days this practise still continues – we recommend that if you find this is the case with your domain name, you contact your provider prior to your contract expiring to request that they update the register at their expense.


The other problem that is quite common these days is when you Internet Service Provider or Broadband company have registered the domain names for you in their name and then cease trading. This can also leave you in an awkard place but this can usually be resolved with a little effort and quite a lot of patience!



Secondly if you set your company up as a partnership it is worth checking out who owns the domain names.
If the domain names are registered to one of the partners and for any reason your partnership changes or breaks up then this could also become a problem. If you find you aren’t the legal registrant then you would need to contact whoever is and ask them to transfer over to you. This will cost you time and usually admin fees, so it is worth keeping an eye on it when registering the name in the first place. We advise companies to ensure that individuals who own the domain names sign them over to the company so that when they leave or retire the company automatically assumes ownership of the name.


We strongly recommend that if you are not totally sure that you own or are the legal registrant of your .co.uk domain name then you can check who owns your domain name by going to a Whois website, this lists who the legal registrant is.
If you find yourself in this situation don’t despair. Nominet is the holder of the register of .co.uk and uk.com domain names. They can help you resolve issues with your domain name registrations.


If you are going to be purchasing a new domain name it is vital to enter your details correctly, so they appear in the Whois register.
This register of who own each domain name is managed by different organisations. For example Nominet mange all the “.co.uk or uk.com” domain names.
Therefore if you have issues or disputes over one of these types of domain name you can seek assitance from Nominet.
Details of other organisations who co-ordinate registries can be found online but are beyond the scope of this article.


If you find yourself unsure if you own your domain name or not and are unable to check it out, we’ll be happy to provide you a free check.

In our next part we’ll be looking at what you need from your hosting plan and how to select the best one for you to prevent your website being blocked as you have used all your “air time” for that month.


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