How to sell a .ie domain

Since 19 November 2016, it has been possible to sell the right to use a .ie domain. This page explains the details behind it, how the process works and includes some FAQs.

What do I need to do?

If you hold a .ie domain, and want to sell it, you should contact your existing Registrar who will help you start the process by submitting a Registrant Transfer request. The Registrant Transfer can only be processed by your existing Registrar. They may even be able to give you tips on how to sell your domain. In general the process will work as follows:

 

You and your potential buyer will need to agree to certain legal requirements and Terms & Conditions. These are outlined below.

Registrant Transfer process

Buyer

The buyer needs to agree to certain legal obligations, as detailed below, and check that they are eligible to hold the .ie domain they want to buy before exchanging funds.

To check if they are eligible, the buyer should contact their Registrar, who can submit an eligibility check request with us here at the Registry.

The buyer will need to show:

  • A real connection to the island of Ireland.
  • Proof of their commercial or personal identification (proof of identity).

Once the buyer has shown this information to us, we’ll give them an authcode, which acts as a guarantee that they’re eligible to hold the domain name.

The buyer will need to give this authcode to the seller and their Registrar to complete the sale.

NOTE: Authcodes are valid for 90 days from the time of issue. Administrative fees apply to the processing of the buy and sell requests. Please contact the seller’s Registrar for further information

Seller

Once you’re ready to complete the sale, please contact your Registrar. You’ll need to agree to our Terms & Conditions (and your Registrar’s), and provide them with the authcode.

Your Registrar will then use this to complete the sale.

Administrative fees apply to the processing of the buy and sell requests. Please contact the seller’s Registrar for further information

IMPORTANT NOTE: Once the valid authcode has been entered, the domain will be locked for 3 days, and no edits to the domain registration will be possible.

Legal Requirements and Terms and Conditions

Buyers

If you are buying a .ie domain that is already registered, you’ll need to agree to the following in order to be allowed participate in the Registrant Transfer process:

1. Purchaser acknowledges and confirms that:

  • Any transfer of a Right to Use is conditional on Purchaser applying to IEDR and complying with IEDR’s Registration and Naming policies.
  • There is a risk of non-authentication if IEDR’s Registration and Naming policies (which they are aware of) are not complied with.
  • If any payment is made or other consideration is given by the Purchaser for the Right to Use prior to authentication being granted by IEDR, this is at the Purchaser’s own risk.

2. Purchaser will not make a claim against IEDR if they are not authenticated by IEDR (including, but not limited to, circumstances where they have entered into any agreement to purchase or conditional agreement to purchase with any Vendor).

Sellers

If you are selling the right to use your .ie domain, you’ll need to agree to the Registrant Terms & Conditions in order to be allowed participate in the Registrant Transfer process.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Secondary Market?

The Secondary Market, also known as the Aftermarket, allows holders of .ie domain registrations to sell the right to use their domain registration. This activity will allow .ie registrants to benefit from the intrinsic value associated with holding a .ie domain, as it shows:

  • Guaranteed Irish connection – to have a .ie domain name you must prove a real and substantive connection to Ireland.
  • Confidence comes with traceability and a .ie can help to ensure that your customers know exactly who they are dealing with.
  • Safety – .ie is one of the safest domains in the world, with lower instances of cybercrime and cybersquatting than other domains. 

Why was it introduced?

Support for allowing Secondary Market activities has grown across the Internet in recent years, particularly as people have begun to see how valuable a domain name can be as a marketing tool for their business. Also, a number of other Registries / country code top level domain (ccTLDs) managers have introduced the Secondary Market in recent years due to consumer demand.

In February 2015, the IEDR’s Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) was presented with a proposal to introduce this service to the .ie namespace, and the PAC established a Development Group to consider the proposal further, along with how it could be practically implemented.

After extensive research, and the launch of a Public Consultation on the proposal to ensure the Irish Internet Community’s opinion was taken into account, it was found that no serious objections existed and that Secondary Market should be introduced for dot ie.

Who can participate?

To sell a .ie domain through the Secondary Market, you must currently hold the right to use the .ie domain registration you want to sell.

To buy a .ie domain through the Secondary Market, or register any new .ie domain, you must show that you meet our registration requirements.

These requirements include showing:

  • A substantive connection to the island of Ireland.
  • Proof of commercial / personal identity.

Further information on our Registration and Naming Policy can be found here.

By requiring buyers to meet our registration criteria, the integrity of the namespace will continue to be upheld, and cyber-squatting will be deterred.

How will it work?

The new Registrant Transfer process is being launched to support Secondary Market operations.

Legal Obligations

Under this process:

Sellers will need to accept the conditions in the 2016 Registrant Terms & Conditions, and tell their buyers some information about the process (including the need to meet the registration criteria).

Buyers will also need to confirm that they agree to the terms of the process, known as an “Acknowledgement & Disclaimer” which is detailed under the important Legal Requirements and Terms and Conditions above.

Process Overview

Buyers and sellers will need to submit their requests through the current Billing Contact (Registrar) for the domain. The seller will provide interested parties with contact information for their Registrar.

Once the legal obligations above have been agreed to, the procedures are as follows: 

Buyers

If you are buying a domain, you should contact the Billing Contact for the domain to submit a “pre-clearance” request to check that you’re eligible to hold the domain you want to buy.

The Registrar will provide you with instructions. These will include the evidence we require in relation to your connection to the island of Ireland and your proof of personal or commercial ID, as required.

Provided you meet our registration criteria, we’ll send you an authcode, which acts as a guarantee that you are eligible to hold the domain. This authcode will be valid for 90 days and should be given to the Registrar on request.

Sellers

Once you are ready to transfer the domain registration to your buyer, you’ll need to contact your Billing Contact (Registrar), and give them the buyer’s authcode. Once the valid authcode is entered into the registrant transfer request:

  • The domain will be locked for 3 days – no changes to the registration will be possible during that time.
  • At 3pm on day 3, the domain will unlock and the new registrant will have full access to the domain.
  • The WHOIS will update, showing the new registrant details.

How do I find out if the domain I want is for sale?

To see if a .ie domain is for sale, please contact the Billing Contact (Registrar) managing the registration.

Will the registrant transfer process change the renewal date of the domain registration?

No, the renewal date for the domain registration will remain unchanged by this process. If you wish to renew the domain this can be done after the registrant transfer completes.

Can I change my Billing Contact during the registrant transfer process?

No, it will not be possible to change Billing Contact during the registrant transfer process. Once the registrant transfer has completed or been cancelled, you can transfer the Billing Contact, if you wish.

I want to buy a domain on the Secondary Market, but the current domain holder won’t sell it to me. What can I do?

If your negotiations have reached an impasse there is nothing further to do. The holder of the domain is free to decide whether they wish to sell the domain or not.

The current domain holder of the domain I want to buy isn’t using it, and won’t sell it to me. What can I do?

The current domain holder has the legal right to use the domain name. This right continues up to the renewal date of the domain, when it can be further extended upon payment of the renewal fees. Under our rules, there is no obligation on .ie registrants to host content on their domain, and some registrants hold .ie domains simply to protect their branding. The domain holder would be fully entitled to continue holding the domain registration, and is under no obligation to give up the registration or to sell it.

I believe that the current domain holder is infringing on my trademark / protected right, has registered the domain in bad faith, and has no legitimate interest in the domain. What can I do?

There is a formal dispute resolution process operated by an independent third-party. Appeals against a .ie domain registration should be submitted to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), under the terms and conditions of the formal IE Dispute Resolution Process. 

A complainant will have to prove that: 

  • A .ie domain name is identical or misleadingly similar to a protected identifier in which the Complainant has rights; and
  • The Registrant has no rights in law or legitimate interests in respect of a .ie domain name; and
  • A .ie domain name has been registered or is being used in bad faith.

Complaints are not decided on by the IEDR but by an independent and impartial panel of one to three experts appointed by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).