Most businesses would expect that if they have or obtain a domain name; that they own it. However this is not always the case.
Recently I noticed that someone I knew and hoped would become a web design client had a site constructed by a different web designer with a new domain name (You win some, you lose some!) However, I couldn’t avoid noticing that the registrant (domain owner) was the web design business, not actual the business owner. It is not the first time that I have come across this scenario
One wonders why web design businesses do this? It is understandable that maybe they find it easier to have one account with the hosting company / domain registrar they normally use. Maybe that registrar requires them to create separate accounts for each individual or business which registers a domain and it would be too much hassle to keep track of all those accounts and log-in details. This is not an issue with the registrar I use and I always try to ensure that the domains are correctly registered.
Is there a problem with having your domain seemingly owned by your web design company; rather than yourself? Ninety-nine times out of a hundred – probably not. However, problems may arise were there to be some dispute and you find that you don’t actually legally own what you thought you did.
You can check the ownership of UK domain name by visiting Nominet’s ‘Whois’ page.
For .com and other non-uk domain names, try http://www.whois-search.com/