Your domain name is a vital part of your web presence, so it’s extremely important that you control it. It’s amazing how many people and businesses don’t!
The person, company or entity that owns or holds a domain name is known as the Registrant. The web design part of my business has come across two instances in the past couple of years when having the wrong person as a registrant has caused delay or unnecessary expense.
In one case a web designer was the registrant, but he had gone missing and taken the domain login details with him. The company affected wanted to change their website but could not even move their site to another designer because they didn’t have the necessary details and passwords.
In another case there had been a falling out between directors and the director who was the registrant refused to cooperate. The company was faced with either an expensive legal recourse or using a new domain name. They decided on the latter, but that incurred costs for new business cards, other stationery, and signage on buildings and vans.
If you are a one person business it’s safest to have the domain registered in your name and to your business address. Even if you have a web designer, colleague or friend who is currently your best mate in the whole wide world and you believe they always will be. If you are a corporation or company the registrant should be the company name (not an individual employee within the company) to ensure the business maintains ownership of the domain name.