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Being Backstabbed - Who Ownes Domain?

Own a domain name that is being used for other company.



8:13 pm on Jan 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I was hoping for some quick assistance.

I agreed to build someone an online business for a % of the company. I agreed to join, build his website from scratch, market it, build the brand, work inhouse all for 10% of the company down the line. If i failed i'd get nothing.

Today we have 4 almost 5 stores, make millions annually and it's 90% my doing (web driven). I'm not exaggerating in the least.

I took a great deal of risk...no salary for the first year. Saw no money until 8 months in. Work on 40k salary for 3 years to help grow the business.

I own the domain name. Can they successfully sue me for it?

Thanks in advanced.


2:22 am on Jan 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator httpwebwitch is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Why would they sue you for it? Would you for some reason hold it ransom or refuse to transfer it to the company?

If you owned the domain before starting with this company, and it's a hot dot com with resale value, then you could negotiate a sale. This company earning millions annually can afford to toss you a few $G for a domain that you had, in essence, loaned from your personal collection.

On the other hand, if the domain name was registered with the intent to be used by the company, then you were acting on behalf of the company when you acquired the registration, just as you were when you worked for free for a year. It's reasonable to assume that acquiring a domain was a necessary task among your web development duties.

If you're getting 10% of millions annually, I don't think you have much to complain about, and you certainly don't have any reason to withold a domain name that is clearly theirs, even though it's your name on the registration.

IANAL, but if it comes to a head in court, yes I believe they could sue you for it, and win.


2:28 am on Jan 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator httpwebwitch is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Noted afterward: the title of this thread says "being backstabbed".

Surely you have a signed contract with this company describing this 10% ownership deal in no uncertain terms.

please agree?

Corey Bryant

10:05 pm on Jan 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I was in the same situation and have seen this a few times. Just curious - how are they backstabbing you?

My situation was that I found out that my business partner was not paying me as much as I was supposed to get. Plus I found out that the customers were getting cheated as well.

I always tell people to get everything in writing, or at least an email. Of course, I did not follow my advice - I trusted him (one of my vices - I think it has something to do with growing up in a small town, seeing businesses / transactions done on a handshake). At least I had some of the websites in my name.

When the domain name was registered - is there also a company name on there? If so, are you part of the company? I also had this issue come up a long time ago. Since the domain name was in company's name (along with a personal name), it was pretty easy to get the domain back. Mind you - this was about 12 years ago with Network Solutions.

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