Domain name escrow services

In the age of cybersquatting registrants of Domain names are often held to ransom by people with untraceable email accounts in other parts of the world. Worse yet, is when the squatter has no right to the Domain name and the Buyer has to weigh the cost of enforcing their right to the Domain versus attempting to acquiring it from the current registrant.

Dundas Lawyers has acted for numerous Buyers and Sellers of Domain names, who have safely transferred the registrant information as part of the sale of the Domain name or online business.

Simple Domain name transfers

Domain name escrow services are often utilised where there is a Buyer and Seller dispute to who has the right to hold a certain Domain name. A common example is where an Australian Company has registered (for example), but neglected to register The dot com is registered by a third party in another jurisdiction that may or may not have the right to use the Domain name.

How does it work?

In the case of an undisputed Domain name sale, either the Buyer or the Seller contacts Dundas Lawyers after the terms of sale including the price and time of transfer have been agreed. The following then takes place:

  • the Buyer deposits the agreed price into our Statutory Trust Account (STA) and signs an irrevocable Trust Account Authority (Authority) authorising Dundas Lawyers to transfer the money to the Seller once the transfer has been made by the Seller;
  • Dundas Lawyers notifies the Seller once we hold cleared funds in our STA and have a signed Authority in our possession;
  • Dundas Lawyers identifies each of the Parties to the sale;
  • Buyer initiates a change of Registrant Request for the Domain;
  • Seller accepts the request to transfer of Registrant for the Domain;
  • Whois records updated (anywhere from one (1) to five (5) days) depending on the Domain;
  • Dundas Lawyers confirms the Domain name records have been updated; and
  • Dundas Lawyers deposits the funds into the Sellers account as full and final payment for the Domain.

This process ensures that each party gets what they bargained for, as each party is protected if the other changes their mind at any stage throughout the process.


Dundas Lawyers acts for both Buyers and Sellers of Domain names and their associated businesses.

Often times, the sale of the Domain is just part of the sale of a larger asset that may include:

  • the assets of an online business;
  • the code the site located at the url;
  • the hosting account; or
  • the customer base.

How long does the process take?

It generally takes between five (5) and ten (10) days for funds to clear and the Whois data to be updated.

How much does it cost?

Simple Domain name transfers with clearly identified parties can be quite inexpensive to process.

That said if either the Buyer or the Seller has engaged Dundas Lawyers to advise them on their competing rights to the Domain name, then the fees involved will be necessarily higher.

Links and further references

Related materials

SBS article ‘One Nation Responds to Pauline Hanson Website Redirecting to Refugee Charity’ – Comment by Malcolm Burrows

For further information on how Dundas Lawyers can assist you with safe affordable Domain name transfer, please contact:


This article is general in nature and cannot be regarded as legal advice. It is general commentary only. You should not rely on the contents of this article without consulting one of our lawyers. If you would like advice regarding how the law applies to your individual circumstances, then please contact Dundas Lawyers.

Malcolm Burrows B.Bus.,MBA.,LL.B.,LL.M.,MQLS.
Legal Practice Director
Telephone: (07) 3221 0013
Facsimile: (07) 3221 0031
Mobile 0419 726 535

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