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You are here: Home  Domain Name Law  Obtain a Domain Name

How to Obtain a Domain Name

by Charles Runyan, Ph.D., J.D. Domain Name Law Attorney

Obtaining a domain name can be very easy, but finding a good one that works for you and has not already been taken can be challenging and frustrating.  Over 28,000,000 domain names have been registered so it takes some creativity to find a domain name that will meet your needs.  Caution:  Just because a domain name is available does not mean that you can use it without incurring liability for trademark infringement.  See Trademarks.

One way to obtain a domain name is to purchase an existing domain name.  One of the biggest side industries arising from domain names is burgeoning business of domain name auctions and sales.  Many web sites exist primarily to facilitate and derive income from sales of domain names.  One of the most successful sales sites is Great Domains.  Most of the domain names offered for sale are extremely over-priced.  The cheapest way to obtain a domain name is to be the first one to register it for $13.50 to $35.

New domain names are obtained by contacting one of the authorized issuers of domain names known as a "registrar."  For many years Network Solutions, Inc., had a monopoly as the only registrar of domain names.  Now, however, there are more than 100 authorized registrars that can issue domain names.  Competition has caused many registrars to substantially cut the annual fee to register a domain name.

To obtain a new domain name, take the following steps:

  1. Go to the web site of an authorized registrar.  I like 000Domains because it's only $13.50 per year for each domain name and they have good tools for bulk administration of domain names.  The most popular registrars are Network Solutions and Register.com.

  2. Use the registrar's online search function to search to see if your desired domain name is taken.

  3. If your domain name is available, follow the registrar's instructions to complete the registration form and pay by credit card.

You obtain a domain name for a period of one to ten years.  If a domain name owner (the "registrant") fails to renew the domain name at the end of its term, the registration of the domain name will be revoked and the domain name may be acquired by another party.  KeytLaw recommends that domain name owners register domain names for the maximum term possible, ten years as of the date of this writing, to reduce the risk that the domain name will be revoked for nonpayment of the renewal fee.

This article was first published on May 1, 2001.

About Charles Runyan

Chuck Runyan, Ph.D., J.D., has been practicing intellectual property law since 1997.  Chuck advises trademark holders about domain names that infringe on a trademark and if the trademark holder has a claim to a domain name under ICANN's Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy and the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act.  He has a Ph.D. in chemistry and has been a patent attorney since 1998 whose practice includes patent preparation, prosecution, portfolio management, and opinion work.  Chuck represents individuals and businesses, start-ups through large, multi-national pharmaceutical companies, in their pursuit and enforcement of patent rights throughout the United States and worldwide.  Charles Runyan is licensed to practice law in Arizona, California and Texas.  Call Chuck at 480-205-9365, email at cer@keytlaw.com and fax at 602-297-6890.  Communicating with Charles Runyan via email, telephone or otherwise does not cause you to become a client of Chuck Runyan or KEYTLaw, LLC, or cause your communications to be confidential or subject to the attorney client privilege.  Charles Runyan is of counsel to KEYTLaw, LLC.

Domain Name Law Consultations

Domain name lawyer & trademark lawyer Charles Runyan, Ph.D., offers phone consultations on domain name law and cybersquatting issues for $499 (1 hour) and $299 (1/2 hour).  Call Chuck at 480-205-9365 or send an email to cer@keytlaw.com.



This page was last modified on October 21, 2008.

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