When you're just starting a business or launching a startup it is important to understand several seemingly small, but important, concepts. One pressure point I've noticed that has come up for me several times in the past has been determining who owns a domain name.

Why is this important?

Well firstly, whether you have purchased the domain yourself, had a domain purchased on your behalf by a third party, or purchased the domain from a third party it is tremendously important to ensure that your details have been properly entered. If they are not there is the potential for missing out on important communications or renewal notices.

Additionally, another important consideration is if you are looking to purchase a domain name that has already been registered. You will need to be able to find the third party's contact information so you can present them an offer.

How can we do this?

Fortunately, the process for determining who owns a domain name is fairly simple once you know how to do it. It involves performing what is called a WHOIS lookup. Here's how we can very easily perform one:

The WHOIS lookup website

The WHOIS lookup website.

  1. Visit https://www.whois.net/
  2. On the homepage, enter the address you want to look up into the form field. For my example, I will be entering division1.ca.
  3. You can see the relevant information on the left-hand side, such as where the domain is registered through and administrative contact info.
  4. If the domain has not been registered yet, you will be presented with an opportunity to purchase the domain.
Whois website showing available domains

Available similar domain names.

It should be noted that when registering a domain name that if you do not want this information displayed there are services that you can purchase to protect your privacy.

Feel free to follow along with our domain names tutorial video.