I have a website being designed, how can I be sure that I own the rights for my business domain name?

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I have a website being designed, how can I be sure that I own the rights for my business domain name?

As a Canadian Domain Name Registrar, one of the biggest problems we are reported is the ownership of a domain name.

At least once a week, we receive a complaint that a website designer someone hired used his/her credentials to register a domain name instead of the business owner or the organization he /she designs the website for.

Commonly web designers are using their own credentials to register domain names. Since domain names and website hosting are complex subjects, organization or individual who hires  the website designer do not even know that they do not have the rights to use the domain name registered for their website.

If there is a conflict the website owners may not get their domain rights and loses all their website which was built under the domain name they chose at the beginning..

Domain name disputes policies exist, but they are very costly and also time consuming.

Here is the hierarchy when it comes to the domain name registrations and identities involved:

  • Registry: A domain registry is an organization that overlooks and keeps records of all registered domains. There are several registries all with specific guidelines and rules that registrars and registrants must abide by. For example, CIRA registry overlooks .ca domain names.
  • Registrar: A registrar is a accredited by the registry to help register its domain names with the rules placed by the registry. SiberName is an accredited registrar of ICANN registry, and also CIRA Registry and some others. As a registrar, we build online systems that the end users can register the domain names and follow the registry rules and become a registrant.
  • Registrant:  A registrant is an individual or an organization such as a corporation, non profit organizations, partnership, school or library who registers a domain name.

When a registrant registers a domain name of a registry through one of its registrars, there are forms to be filled with the registrant’s details. These details include:


  • Name:
  • Company:
  • Email:
  • Phone:
  • Physical Address:

Once a domain name is registered with those details, it is used to determine the ownership of a domain name.

Here is the problem. If a web designer registers a domain name with his own details, he/she officially becomes the registrant of the domain name. Unless the domain name is a trade mark, or there are clear agreements between the web designer and the business owner who has hired him or her, the domain becomes a property of the web designer.

What can you do to prevent this and be the registrant of your domain name?

  1. You can trade mark your company name and use a domain name that matches your trade mark.
  2. You can check domain name whois records right after your designer tells you that your domain name is registered. So you can see the domain is under his or your name.

Please note a whois result can give you a limited information. In many cases, it may show some privacy related information which has privacy keyword in the whois result shown. If you do not see any information that proves your registrant records through this whois search, your designer should ask for the domain privacy disabled to the registrar used and you should run another whois lookup after the privacy feature is disabled.

Most domain name extensions, including .com and .ca domain names, can be updated with the right information easily and without additional costs in the first 3 days of the domain name registration. So, if there is an error in the domain name registration records, you should ask your designer to correct the issue and you should hold your payment for his/her services until this is cleared. Otherwise, you will always depend on this web designer for your on website.

You can contact support department in cases you need guidance. You do not need to be our customer to request free support.

By registering your domain name your self through a registrar like SiberName, you can be the registrant of the domain name. You do not need anyone else because everyone can register a domain name and it is as easy as filling out a simple form and make a payment. You can hire anyone to build a website on the domain name you registered. They do not need to register the domain. If they put this as a condition, you should not hire them.




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