Understanding your domain name ownership!

Understanding domain name ownership is extremely important and is something that I believe every single business owner should be aware of.

Why is it important? At any point in time, you should know the details for your domain name and how to access your account, how to keep your details up to date and most importantly, you should be receiving invoices from the Registrar/Reseller directly. 

The reason it is important is so that you can take action for the business’s digital products immediately if something changes or needs changing. If you don’t have access to your Domain Name account and something goes wrong, you could be faced with some real problems, like loss of ownership, loss of your website and loss of email.

Who is the legal owner of your domain name?  The domain name belongs to the business or the person who holds the highest responsibility within the business. The domain should be in your details and an email ID you have access to.

What are the common problems that we see with domain names? We see website companies or IT companies that hold the domains in their names; this is a huge mistake and one that goes against the rules that are set by InternetNZ through the DNC (Domain Name Commission).  

We can see in point 4.3 that To register or update a domain name or to change Registrant details; a Registrant must use a Registrar, either directly or through a reseller. Registrars only register or update a domain name or change Registrant details at the request of a Registrant.

Most website design companies and IT companies are not Registrar/Reseller; many register names through their chosen provider using their company details; they receive the invoice from the registrar and then on-bill that invoice normally at a higher rate to you, the customer.

Your responsibility as a domain owner is as follows: 

9. Registrants

9.1 The obligations and responsibilities of the Registrant to the Registrar are set out in the Registrant’s agreement with its Registrar. That agreement must be consistent with the .nz Registrant Agreement Core Terms and Conditions. The responsibilities set out below are the minimum standards of behaviour required to operate in the .nz domain name space:

9.1.1 Comply with all of the obligations as listed in the Registrar/Registrant Agreement.

9.1.2 Ensure all information given to the Registrar is accurate and complete.

9.1.3 Keep the Registrar informed of changes to information in the Register or required by the Registrar.

9.1.4 Ensure their use of a domain name will not infringe any intellectual property rights, and indemnify the Registrar against any claim resulting from a breach of this obligation.

9.1.5 Ensure the Registrar’s services, and the domain name, are not used for an unlawful purpose.

9.1.6 Ensure that any order of any Court or other Tribunal having jurisdiction regarding any domain name registered to a Registrant is complied with.

9.1.7 Ensure everyone the Registrant is responsible for, or who uses a domain name registered by the Registrant, complies with the duties listed in this policy.

9.1.8 Raise any complaints with the Registrar within 60 days from the date the relevant service was supplied to them. If the Registrar and Registrant are unable to resolve the complaint it may be presented to the DNCL who will decide whether to investigate it.

9.1.9 Pay all registration fees as and when they become due.


Oraco Solutions, as a Reseller, makes sure that all domains are in your details and that you receive the invoice directly from us and notifications of expiry.  You, as the owner, can grant anyone access to manage your domain name on your behalf while maintaining the login credentials. 

No business should make the process of moving a domain name difficult.  Many IT companies are excellent at sorting through this without any problems whatsoever, while others almost hold a gun to your head and make the process so difficult that they make you feel bad because they want to control your domain name.

If you experience this type of behaviour, our recommendation would be to find a new provider as soon as possible because if they don’t like losing control over something so small and don’t have the domain in your legal details, including your email address, then how can they be fully trusted, remember you can grant them access to make the necessary changes, they shouldn’t have a problem with this at all.

To sum up, why we manage business domain names here at Oraco, is because we follow the guidelines and the rules that the DNC sets; we can make the necessary changes quickly, and we will often make changes outside of business hours so you aren’t as impacted and we provide a good service where you remain in control of your account, including legal ownership. 

We are here to help you make the best decisions with your digital products.

For more information about domain names here in New Zealand, you can visit https://dnc.org.nz/ 

Similar rules apply to other popular domain extensions globally. 

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