Many start-ups and SMEs remain blissfully unaware of the enormous harm they could be visiting upon their fragile early-stage businesses by entrusting their website domain name registration to unscrupulous organisations.
Know who you’re registering with
According to Wayne Diamond, Managing Director of Domains.co.za, the choice of who to register your domain name with is, for a new kid on the block, second only in importance to the choice of a stand-out company name that will quickly garner the attention of potential clients.
“After building up the business and getting it on the road to commercial success, many entrepreneurs are horrified to find out that ownership of their valuable domain name rests in the hands of a company that often doesn’t even have a South African presence,” explains Mr Diamond.
“One can only imagine the anxiety felt by a small businessperson who has spent a significant proportion of start-up funding on promoting a particular domain name across different pricey advertising mediums, only to find out that the name doesn’t even belong to his company because it was registered in the name of the individual or organisation that was entrusted with registration,” says Diamond.
Register your name right away
So what’s the number one, totally unbreakable rule that entrepreneurs should remember after they’ve determined on domains.co.za that their chosen domain name is available? “If it’s available, register the name straight away.
Many entrepreneurs have failed to do this and then seen their ideal domain name become unavailable in as short a time as a few hours. Once the decision to register the name is made, make sure it is registered in your own name and not in that of an employee, web developer or ISP,” advises Diamond.
You can add someone else as a technical contact, or as a billing contact, for example, on the account. However, entrepreneurs should always ensure that they give themselves effective control of the domain. There are many business risks if this is not the case.