Whois: Who Has The Domain Name You Want?

The right domain name is crucial for a successful Web business. As your Web address, you need your domain name to match, as closely as it can, the company name or at least to make considerable sense if it doesn’t. The trick is making sure your customer can recall where to find you on the Web.

Easy enough unless your company name has already been taken. Other companies buy up all of the domain names relevant to what they sell or service. They hoard them to stifle competitors. It makes good sense, but what if you NEED that domain name? How do you go about obtaining a domain name already got?

Your Web host offers a service called, “Whois.” Who is the one who has my ideal domain name? Who is the one who owns the name I want? Who is the one I need to contact to have any chance of getting what I need? With Whois, you can answer all of these questions. If your ideal domain name is taken, someone has it. Use Whois to find out whom.

Whois will provide you with the contact information of whoever owns the domain name you want. Call or email. Most companies are willing to negotiate.

Another valuable tool offered by the Whois service kicks in when you finally have your domain name. Set up primarily to safeguard trademarks and copyright infringements, Whois will protect you and your company as well. Anytime someone registers a name similar to yours, you will be alerted. If the name is too close for comfort, use the contact information to call and negotiate. Or turn it over to your lawyers if that does not go well.