Domain Name Ownership – How to Transfer Domain Names to a New Registrar

Just bought a domain? Found a cheaper domain registrar? Want better service from a Web hosting provider? Well, these are just some of the reasons why a person would want to transfer domain name ownership. This article gives you a step-by-step guide as well as a few useful pointers about making the change.

This process of transferring domain name ownership is a simple action involving the current domain name registrar and the new domain name registrar. You can also choose to transfer domains over different accounts, under the same registrar. Some common domain registrars are GoDaddy, Netfirms and Register.com. Many domain registrars, like GoDaddy, also offer Web hosting services.

Although each registrar may have a slightly different process of doing things, the basics are the same. The process of transferring domain name ownership is fast, simple and requires almost zero technical knowledge, as the details of the transfer are handled by the new registrar.

Step-by-Step Process

  1. Removal of Locks: The current owner of the domain name has to first remove any ‘domain locks’, in their registrar account, to enable the new owner to send a transfer request.
  2. Transfer Request by the New Owner: Most registrars will have a simple online form to ‘transfer domain’. New owners will need to login to their registrar user account, access the transfer form, and enter information like the email address of the current domain owner (which can be got through WhoIs). Once you send the transfer request, the domain registrar of the current owner sends them a notification.
  3. Acceptance of Transfer by Present Owner: When the current owner of the domain name receives the email notification for the transfer, they can either accept or reject it. If they confirm it, the authenticity of the request for domain transfer is validated. If they ignore it, the request will expire, after a given period.
  4. Denial of Transfer: In some cases, the old registrar may deny the transfer. This usually happens when the domain name has expired and a renewal fee is due. To get over this hurdle, the old domain owner will have to pay the renewal fee to their registrar, before the domain transfer process can be re-initiated by the new owner.
  5. Transfer in Progress: When the email is accepted, the transfer is effectively in progress. This process can take a few days, depending on the domain registrars involved. Once the transfer is approved, the new owner holds full rights to the domain name.

Useful Pointers

  • It is easier and cheaper (sometimes free) to transfer domains from one account to another, under the same registrar. Later, the buyer can transfer it to another registrar, if desired.
  • Some domain registrars may charge high fees to transfer ownership while others may actually refuse to transfer ownership. Read the fine print, or you may regret your decision later.
  • Some domain registrars include the cost of domain renewal with the cost of transfer. This can sometimes be cheaper than renewing your domain, especially if you have a costly existing registrar.
  • When a domain name is first registered, the owner will have to wait around 60 days, before they can transfer the domain name to another registrar.
  • If a domain happens to be involved in a legal matter or if the owner is facing bankruptcy, then the domain name transfer will not be completed.

Buying a domain name is just the first step to creating an online Web presence for your company. There is much more to be done, like creating an online business strategy, designing a Website, creating content and marketing your website. The Internet is expanding; make sure you use it to grow your profits too!

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