"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." Romeo and Juliet
Well what isn't sweet is when someone else owns your businesses domain. You toiled over what to call your business - choose the best domain for your website and have built your business and brand using this website. Now a few years down the road the small design team you hired to develop your website is no longer in business. You need changes done and your new designer/developer needs access to your domain. Who owns your domain?; Where is it hosted; how can you get access to it?
This situation happens with small businesses every day. Some situations can be worked out easily, others can end in litigation or the business having to abandon the domain at a great cost to their business.
Protecting your business' domain in one of the most important things you can do for yourself. Here are several things to consider:
- If your developer is managing your domain and it's hosting make sure you have a contract that states that you are the sole owner of the domain until such time that you may release ownership. Most hosting platforms make transferring management of a domain very easy. If you have proof of ownership you may have to jump through some hoops but you should be able to get control of your domain.
- Make sure your domain is set up on "auto-renewal". There are vultures out there waiting for domains to expire. They will grab your domain and if you want the privilege of having it back you will pay for it.