Who owns your internet domain name? If you don’t know then you really ought to find out.
When you start a new business it is easy to overlook the value of your domain. Costing just a few pounds, domain registration is probably the least expensive item on your start-up shopping list. But once you have committed to a domain name it becomes an incredibly valuable asset to your business.
Your domain name is the one point of contact that remains consistent for the lifetime of your business. It provides the gateway to you website, which is perhaps the most important marketing investment you will make. Your domain name is also integral to email – the most prevalent form of business communication in use today.
If someone else is buying a domain on your behalf make sure that you or your organisation are named as the registrant. It is not uncommon for web companies to make registrations in their own name. As a result it is they who hold the legal title to the domain, rather than the client for whom it was registered. What happens if your web designer ceases trading, your relationship with them turns sour, or you simply wish to use a different supplier at some point in the future? You may find that your domain, website and email accounts disappear along with any accumulated equity.
If you’re comfortable using the command line tool on your computer you can run a WHOIS lookup from there to find out who owns your domain name. Or you can just use one of the free online lookup sites such as who.cc. If the named registrant isn’t you, or someone you trust, then it should be.
Your domain is right at the heart of your business brand. Don’t let it slip through your fingers as a result of complacency or ignorance.