Briefing Note

Domain Name Transfers

Reviewed June 2018

Introduction

This guide outlines the procedure for transferring domain names, but is a general introduction only. It should not be relied upon as legal advice and you should contact us for advice on your specific circumstances.

Background

There are three key bodies involved in the registration of web addresses:

  1. Registrant: This is the person/company who wishes to have the web address registered and who will become the owner of the web address.
  2. Registrar: This is the business which registers the web address on behalf of the Registrant.
  3. Registry: This is the keeper of the registered web addresses.

A list of most .co.uk Registrars that can register .co.uk domain names can be found at: www.nominet.org.uk/governance/members/list/ For .co.uk web addresses.  Some registrars may be able to complete the transfer for you. A list is available at www.nominet.uk.

For .net and .com web addresses there are multiple possible Registry’s and you will have to ascertain who your web address is registered with before you can transfer ownership. The owner of the web address should know where it is registered but, if not, the information can be obtained from the Registrar. If the owner is unsure of the Registrar then a “whois” search should reveal its identity. You can search this at www.whois.net.

How to transfer ownership of a web address

For web addresses ending co.uk:

  1. The owner must go to www.nominet.org.uk/go/login
  2. Enter your email address. This will be the email address which was registered to be the administrative contact when the domain name was registered;
  3. Enter your password. Nominet would have sent out an email to allow the registrant to set up a password when the domain name was registered. If this was not done or you have lost the email/password, this should not be a problem. You can contact Nominet on 01865 33 22 44 and they will set up a new password for you.
  4. You can then follow the process online to complete the transfer, You will need the new Registrant’s email address and be ready to pay the transfer fee (currently £10 + Vat)
  5. It is also good practice to inform the Registrar that ownership of the domain name has been transferred and to update the details of the new Registrant with the Registrar.
  6. The buyer of the web address may well wish to transfer the web address from the current Registrar to one of their preference. This is normally a simple exercise but each Registrar has their own procedures.

For web addresses ending in .com and .net

The process is largely similar to the above but because there are multiple Registry’s operating throughout the USA it is impossible to outline the exact steps needed to transfer ownership. Each Registry has its own transfer methods.

In .co.uk, .net and .com transfers if you intend to transfer the web address to a new Registrar (as well as the Registrant) then it may well be worth contacting the new Registrar first. In many cases the new Registrar will contact the appropriate Registry and make the transfer on your behalf. You will then simply have to pay any requisite transfer fees and inform the old Registrar that the web address has been transferred to another Registrar (and Registrant).

For further information on:

.com and .net web addresses: www.internic.net

.co.uk web addresses: www.nominet.uk

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