ICA Introduces Broker Code of Conduct Badge

The  Internet Commerce Association (ICA) recently developed and announced a Voluntary ICA Broker Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct is a voluntary set of guidelines created with the input of ICA members to help establish best practices for professional conduct expected from domain brokers.

Yesterday afternoon, the ICA invited domain name brokers, who are Bronze-level members or higher, to commit to abide by the Voluntary Broker Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct covers topics like working with a client’s best interests in mind, using a brokerage agreement that lists all terms and fees, disclosing any conflicts of interests, and quite a few other expectations and best practices that professional domain brokers should maintain.

Brokers who make this commitment will be sent the badge above to display on their website, email signature, or ICA profile. Brokers who agree to abide by the Code of Conduct are not required to display the badge, but they will be given the option to do so.

Notably, there isn’t an investigative or enforcement process to ensure brokers abide by the Code of Conduct. The ICA has a set of terms and conditions brokers must agree to and sign in order to participate in this program. I presume the ICA can revoke its permission to display the badge if the organization learns a broker is not abiding by the Code of Conduct.

The ICA will evaluate the program’s performance and gauge members’ interest over time, determining whether to expand it, perhaps by exploring the feasibility and desirability of incorporating enforcement mechanisms in the future, revise it, or cancel it.

I think this is a good incentive for domain brokers to pledge to adhere to the Code of Conduct. While some people may express concern that a broker could display the badge while violating the ICA’s Code, I hope the risk of shame by being called out by the ICA or its members for violating the Code would be enough to prevent abuse of this.

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. Putting a badge on my site that is identical in image as well as perception to one being used by a bad actor broker or some other schmuck, lifts them up and pulls me down from a reputation stand point.

    Without teeth (punitive action for bad actors), this badge does more harm than good, particularly to the folks that are industry leaders like MediaOptions. There are bad actors who call themselves domain brokers who are active members of the ICA today and yet they won’t take any action whatsoever. So what does this accomplish? Absolutely NOTHING. It appeases a bunch of trolls and folks who do not understand how domain transactions happen or the plumbing of the secondary market.

    Not to mention, this badge couldn’t be more ugly or clumsy from a branding and aesthetic point of view!

    ICA needs to focus its limited time and resources on the rights of domain name owners and investors. Spreading itself too thin does nothing for anyone and waivers from the mission that drives its largest donations and support.

    I hope they come to their senses.

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