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Transfering en expensive .de domain name
How do Imake 100% sure I get this german domain name?
Balle




msg:3555547
 10:20 am on Jan 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

I am concidering purchasing a very very expencive german domain name (example.de). To be honest I don't have any expiriance at all with how the .de domains work - and how they are transfered.

The current owner of the domain and I have agreed on the price as well as on using Escrow.com for the transfer.

It's a lot of money so first of all I am just checking to make 100% sure that Escrow.com is very safe for this purpose?

The current domain owner is apparently an offshore company (probably just a mail box). I don't have their phone number and they don't want to give out their phone number to me for some reason.

I am a bit worried that in case something goes wrong the money and/or domain is lost.

I have no reason at all to belive that I am not dealing with the actual owner of the domain name. However the only "proof" of dealing with the right owner of the domain name is that I get reply from the email address showing when looking up the Whois information for the domain. I guess this leaves me in good faight in case this turns out not to be the case?

I have been reading on denic.de who handles the german domain names.

I also found a german domainname register - United Domains. I had them recommended by a german laywer I called. According tó this laywer United Domains are trustworthy and one of germanys biggest domain registars. Can anyone confirm this?

I am not located in germany myself - so the domain needs to have a so called "Administrative Contact" who is located in germany. The german laywer told me that United Domains automaticall provides a person who will act as the domains local "Administrative Contact".

How do I make 100% sure that I get the domain?

In particular I need to change the "Domain Holder" as well as the "Administrative Contact" person. The current owner of the domain is also registered as the "Administrative Contact" and as far as I understand the Administrative Contact can change everything regarding the domain - even who is registered as the Domain Holder. I don't want to expiriance that escrow.com pays the seller and then the administrative contact moves the domain back to the seller.

How exactly do I make the transfer of this .de domain - do I make the transfer or do the current owner make the transfer?

How do I make sure that I don't lose the domain and/or my money?

Any advice on what terms to include in a contract regarding a domain name deal?

Right now I have the price we agreed on - info on who the purchaser is as well as the seller name and address (offshore company) - as well as the sellers insurance that there is no problem with the domain in regards to copyright violations, ownershop or any other disputes of any kind regarding the domain name. And that the seller has the full rights to sell the domain.

Did I miss anything?

Thanks in advance for any advice

 

vincevincevince




msg:3555628
 12:09 pm on Jan 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

Did I miss anything?

Yes. You missed getting verified personal details for directors of the company or the owners of the domain name. The more the better. You also missed getting a hard copy paper contract, signed in person, in your presence, and witnessed by a lawyer.

Laker




msg:3555882
 3:28 pm on Jan 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

It's a lot of money so first of all I am just checking to make 100% sure that Escrow.com is very safe for this purpose?

Yes, Escrow.com is 100% safe for this transaction. I have used them many, many times.

I also found a german domainname register -

I haven't dealt with that registrar, I have dealt with another German registrar.
(The registrar I used didn't "automatically provide a person who would act as the domains local "Administrative Contact".)

Is the domain currently listed at this registrar you intend to use? Is the current admin contact located in Germany?
FYI, transfers of .de domains don't add a year of registration to an existing registration, rather the "clock" is reset, so a "one-year transfer" means the transferred domain will expire one year from the date of transfer.

Are you aware you will have to have hosting for your domain from a provider that belongs to RIPE's Local Internet Registries(LIRs)? (So, if you already have domains hosted somewhere they may not be able to host the .de domain on their nameservers.)

I had them recommended by a german laywer I called.

Have you retained the German lawyer? (Is s/he working for you?)


How do I make 100% sure that I get the domain? ...

In particular ... I don't want to experience that escrow.com pays the seller and then the administrative contact moves the domain back to the seller ...

How exactly do I make the transfer of this .de domain...

How do I make sure that I don't lose the domain ...

Escrow.com does all of that (and more) for you.

You need to read (or reread) the process as outlined at Escrow.com. They have a separate category for domain names, and an extensive FAQ, as well as email and telephone support. The entire step-by-step process is done (and begun) by escrow.com once either you, or the seller initiates it. Both you and the seller will receive a confirming email from escrow.com after EACH of the many steps involved has begun, and also when each step is completed.

In short, the seller doesn't get paid until the domain name has been transferred and YOU notify escrow.com that you are in control of the registrant and administrator contact information. (Escrow.com also verifies this information on their own.)

If you haven't already, I'd suggest you establish an account (and a profile) at escrow.com. This is free, and will enable you to enter your personal and email information, as well as set-up default banking information.

You and the seller will need to agree beforehand who pays the escrow.com fee -- or you may agree to split the fee between you.

You also missed getting a hard copy paper contract, signed in person, in your presence, and witnessed by a lawyer.

While the above is certainly an ideal scenario, I have sold numerous domain names to buyers in this country (US), the EU and Asia, for as much as five figure amounts, and have never had a contract signed in my presence, and witnessed by a lawyer. In several instances, the buyer was a large multi-national company with an in-house staff of attorneys. I do have contracts, usually signed and faxed, or in some cases emailed and signed with a digital signature. I reference the contract in the escrow.com information.

Balle




msg:3578688
 11:12 am on Feb 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the advice guys - I used some of it.

Among others I got a copy of an official paper with details about the founders/owners of the offshore company - as well as a signed contract, signed by the owner of the offshore company. Just to make sure the person selling the domain was 100% entitled to do so.

I did not hire a laywer. I have a masters degree in business administration and law myself - never really used it though since this Internet thing is so much more fun :-).

But I did call a leading german internet laywer - Dr. Torsten Bettinger, LL.M. to discuss a few issues around dealing with an offshore company, as well as specific rules around .de domain names and german internet law. If I ever need to hire a german internet laywer I will defenitly be giving Dr. Torsten Bettinger, LL.M. another call, he speaks fluent english, is very pleasent to deal with and specializes in german internet law and have written several books on the topic.

The german domain name has now been transfered to my company and the 400.000 Euro (USD $591,030.88 including escrow fee) will be released to the seller in a few days - Webmasterworld, Dr. Torsten Bettinger and Escrow.com rocks. Thank you :-)

Again thanks guys - now back to making that german website perfect and ready for launch. I plan on releasing a press releace late this month about the domain deal.

[edited by: Balle at 11:17 am (utc) on Feb. 19, 2008]

Bidera




msg:3578760
 1:44 pm on Feb 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

You have admirable composure to rely on yourself and advice given on forums no matter how good it may have been, considering magnitude of this transaction.

Also it is shocking that German lawyers don't charge by an hour and give out free phone consultations. ;)

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