Daily Poll: Do You Use Contracts?

When it comes to privately buying or selling domain names, I would say that I am a stickler for contracts. Even when I do private deals with people I know and trust, I almost always use a purchase agreement. In the event something unexpected happens in the short term or over a longer period of time, I want to make sure everything is outlined and agreed to in writing.

I understand why a purchase agreement can be burdensome. It might be silly to agree to buy a name for $50 on NamePros and ask the seller to sign a 4 page contract. Purchase agreements can also be expensive to have drafted for a business, and a boilerplate agreement may not suffice.

That said, I would be interested in knowing other people’s habits when it comes to purchase agreements. Feel free to share thoughts in addition to voting below.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. I only use an NDA when I sell, and it’s not a big Hollywood production. One time I felt there was a good reason to get the sale shown on DNJ, however.

    • I’m curious why you don’t use NDAs or sign them. As a newer player in the domain name space (not to online assets) I’ve always presumed they are necessary part of doing business.

    • Haven’t you more or less said in no uncertain terms you keep all your sales private? How do keep them private unless all of your sales have this confidentiality clause? Such a clause itself amounts to an NDA for all intents and purposes really, does it not? I learned the hard way that a sale you want private can show up right at DNJ before I realized I’d better do something about every sale if I didn’t want it to.

    • Good question.

      When I buy a domain name privately, I have a confidentiality clause in the purchase agreement. When I sell a name, I don’t add the clause because I think it should be up to the buyer if he or she or they want or need to publicize the sale. Some buyers, especially those who engage outside counsel, will either add a confidentiality clause or request to use their own agreement with a similar clause. Many SMB buyers don’t request it because it’s probably not something they even think about. They may not know the in and outs of the domain investment business and may not realize (or care) that a seller could report the price. I don’t like reporting sales publicly.

      When I think of a NDA, I typically think of a more fully encompassing agreement that has a lot more detail about everything that can’t be disclosed rather than a clause that is part of a purchase agreement. Some people may use this interchangeably though.

    • Interesting clarification. I find that the language in an NDA can be rock solid and all-encompassing while being pretty short and sweet and easy to implement.

    • One little correction: above I said I learned the hard way about a sale one might want private showing up on DNJ. I “misspoke” there: I meant a purchase. I had some purchases of mine surprisingly show up on the weekly DNJ report which I would not have wanted to be public, and I only found out much later during a negotiation with someone who found one of them.

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