Transfer of Ownership, Change of Registrant and Domain Trades

The transfer of domain ownership from one individual or organization to another is governed by ICANN’s Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy. The process is sometimes also referred to as a change of Registrant or domain trade.

Transferring ownership of a domain is accomplished by updating the owner contact information in Whois. Under the current ICANN policy, both the old Registrant, and new Registrant must approve modifications to this information.

A confirmation email is sent to both the old Registrant email and the new Registrant email. Each party must follow the link provided to a confirmation page, where they grant approval of the transfer.

This same process also comes into play when minor updates to Whois contact information are made. Please see below for an in-depth explanation.

If you are unsure of how to update this information, contact your provider.

Updates to Whois Contact Information

ICANN has determined that Registrants are unique and identifiable by their specific combination of:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Organization Name
  • Email Address

This means that a minor change to any of the above-mentioned fields in the owner contact information, will, legally speaking, initiate a change of ownership. Take a look at the example below, which involves a simple update to the organization name field:


Old Registrant Information

First Name: John

Last Name: Doe

Organization Name: Amazing Business Inc.                                              

Email: john.doe@typicalemail.com

New Registrant Information

First Name: John

Last Name: Doe

Organization Name: Associates & Associates

Email: john.doe@typicalemail.com

Both the old and new Registrant will have to approve of this change. In the example above, john.doe@typicalemail.com would receive two emails, both of which must be approved in order for the transfer of ownership to take place.