Transfer domain rights with a domain name sale agreement

About to sell (or buy) a domain name? Read on to learn more about domain name sales, and how a domain name sale agreement can protect you, whether you're the buyer or the seller.

by Belle Wong, J.D.
updated May 11, 2023 ·  4min read

It's easy these days to sell a domain name you've had hanging around, unused. And it's just as easy for you to buy a relevant domain name for your endeavor, when an appropriate name isn't available for registration directly from a domain name registrar.

Red words "domain for sale" surrounded by differently sized versions of the grey word "sale"

Whether you're selling a domain name, or buying one from a seller, it's always a good idea to document the transaction with a domain name sale agreement. A comprehensive sale of domain name agreement sets out all the pertinent details of a domain name sale in writing, providing protection for both the domain name seller and buyer.

Where to buy or sell domain names

Whether you're looking to buy or wanting to sell, there are a number of methods of selling domain names, or finding appropriate domain names to buy:

  • Domain name marketplaces. In recent years, quite a number of domain name marketplaces have popped up, catering to those who wish to purchase or sell domain names. In these marketplaces, sellers can list the domain names they have for sale, and buyers can search for domain names that fit the site they want to create.
  • Domain name auction sites. Like a regular online auction site, a domain name auction site features domain names that buyers can bid on. These sites often function like a domain name marketplace as well, by permitting sellers to offer a "buy now" price that enables interested buyers to skip the bidding process.
  • Cruising around online. For buyers, sometimes simply typing a domain name into your search engine browser can yield results by directing you to a site that is a "for sale" page for the domain name in question. Because of this, buyers will often keep a domain name "live" online with for sale wording and contact information, even if they've also listed it for auction or in a marketplace.
  • Old-fashioned networking and cold calling. Letting friends, family, and business associates know when you're in the market to buy a domain name can work well if you have a theme or focus in mind, yet you're not particularly tied to a specific name. For example, it doesn't hurt to let people know that you're in need of a domain name that plays on the word "cloud." Because of the advent of cloud computing, it can be difficult finding a good domain name at a domain name registrar, but you never know if someone knows someone who has a name that will work for you. And, if you are a seller, you can utilize not only networking, but also cold calling (or emailing) potential buyers after doing some research into what businesses might be good prospects for the domain name you're selling.
  • Domain name brokers. Particularly if you're a buyer who needs a very specific domain name, one final option is to consult with a domain name broker. If you're going this route, however, be prepared to pay high-end prices for the domain name you want. Like brokers in any other field, domain name brokers generally work for sellers on a commission basis, so they're not likely to work with lower-priced domain names. A domain name broker therefore can be a good option as well for a seller who has a potentially popular domain name to offer for sale.

Domain name purchase and sale agreement

Whether you're the buyer or the seller, a standard domain name agreement is an important tool for protecting both parties in the sales transaction. A comprehensive domain name sale agreement outlines important aspects of the sale, including:

  • The parties involved
  • The domain name, its registration date, and where it is registered
  • The seller's warranty that they own the domain name and have the right to transfer it
  • The price to be paid, and the rights and entitlements the seller receives for their payment
  • When the domain name will be transferred, and how
  • If the parties will be using an escrow service, incorporation of the terms of escrow

You also should include any other clauses that may be pertinent for your particular situation. For example, you may not want the transaction to be made public, in which case you'd include a confidentiality clause. Or, if there are trademark issues, you may want to negotiate the transfer of trademark rights as well. Additionally, other basic contract language should be included, such as a dispute resolution clause, to cover any other contractual issues that may arise during the sales process.

Domain name sale transactions take place every day. Whether you've found the perfect domain name to purchase, or you've found a buyer for a domain name you have offered for sale, it's always a good idea to protect your rights with a domain name sale agreement.

Ready to start your Domanin Sale Agreement? LEARN MORE
Belle Wong, J.D.

About the Author

Belle Wong, J.D.

Belle Wong,¬†is a freelance writer specializing in small business, personal finance, banking, and tech/SAAS. She spends h… Read more

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of the author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.