Why it is important to keep domain name details up to date28-Feb-2011 I recently had a client, (I will call them XYZPartnership*) who had registered their domain name 12 months prior to registering their new company name, XYZCompany. They had been trading under a partnership and then when they changed their name they didn't think to update the Domain Registrant / Owner information.
This meant that their Domain Registrant / Owner information contained XYZPartnership's details and not the new company XYZCompany details.
Even though the Australian Domain Names Administrator requires you to prove your eligibility when you purchase your domain name, I am not convinced that most business owners understand that this is an official Business Registrar and therefore needs to be accurate in the same way your business details need to be registered with ASIC.
What followed was devastating and stressful for my clientThey dissolved their XYZPartnership as they were now trading as XYZCompany. The SSL Digital Security Certificate for their website that was registered to XYZPartnership expired unexpectedly as they didn't receive any e-mail's about renewal. This could have been because they had an old email address registered when they purchased the SSL Certificate.
This meant that XYZCompany website was getting large error messages when users wanted to purchase, losing out of revenue, aggravating their customers and generally looking unprofessional.
Now to fix this, a new SSL Digital Certificate needed to be purchased rather quickly, however when we applied for the new Digital Certificate in XYZCompany name, the information on the domain name Registrar was for XYZPartnership.
The painful solutionWe needed to update the details of the Domain Registrant / Owner of the domain name.
In order to get an SSL you need to have your registered details including your Business Name with ASIC and your Domain Name Registrant match. Just like when you apply to get your Australian Tax Office AUSkey you needed to prove your business name and go through identity checks to ensure it is being issued to the true owner of the business.
This involved printing off a form, providing proof of business and company registration and signatures which was posted to the Domain Registrar, once they received this they needed to confirm these details from the appropriate Government Department. An estimated time frame of 10 days. 10 Days the website could not take online payments.
What can be done
One of the best ways not to be caught out is to have an asset register and review the information on all your online assets yearly so you know what has been purchased on your behalf and when it is due for payment. Make sure that if you authorise anything you keep a record of what you have paid for and when. You can find out more about Keeping an Asset Register here.
So make a list of all the domain names you have registered and check all the details are up to date. Do it today so you are not caught out.
* All names have been changed.