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Expired Domain

Potential Legal Issues

2:24 pm on Nov 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:July 23, 2003
votes: 0


Although I am not new to web design & marketing I am fairly new to expired domains, but only since coming across a domain I found for a new business opportunity.

I have found an expired domain that once belonged to a web design company that I am assuming has gone bust. The previous web design company has built websites and stamped them with a link in the footer of them, and these websites are still live. I am not particularly bothered about the linked websites but I do want the domain name because it is what I went out searching for before digging deeper and finding this information.

I want to purchase it and redirect it to our own website before development into a 'sister' part of our business (we have been looking for franchise partners in different locations of the UK), but doing this I want to avoid legal issues with the previous company or individual, if that is at all possible?

I worry that it will look like we are trying to claim the work of the previous web design company, as the link in their clients websites will redirect to our own website and eventually the redeveloped one.

Or should I go looking elsewhere?

We have a lead for a good salesman that wants to franchise our services and this is the reason I went looking for a new domain and found this expired one.

Any advice would be great thanks :)

7:16 pm on Nov 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member redbar is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Oct 14, 2013
votes: 446

Do you know how many backlinks there are? Is it in the tens or hundreds, surely not the thousands?

Personally, if it's the name you want, I wouldn't worry about legal issues at all if it is an expired name, if they couldn't afford 5 year for registration fees then I doubt they're particularly bothered about anything.
8:07 pm on Nov 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

System Operator from US 

incredibill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Jan 25, 2005
votes: 99

I wouldn't worry too much about it.

I once bought an ecommerce site, not their business, and people threatened to sue us every other day because of things the previous owner did.

I told them all we just bought the domain, not the business, and to go pound sand.

Nothing ever happened.

As long as you're not infringing on someone else's work, I think you'll be fine.
10:10 am on Nov 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:July 23, 2003
votes: 0

It is only really a handful of websites but I thought I should take the cautious approach. There are only a few dozen at most.

Thanks for your answers :)

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