Registering Friends’ Domain Names

One of my favorite things to do when a friend has a baby is to register the baby name .com domain name for my friend. I am also happy to register domain names for (and on behalf of) my friends when they get engaged or even when they are thinking about starting a business and want to reserve a domain name in advance.

There are a few good reasons why this is a really nice thing, but there are also some downsides to registering domain names for other people. I want to share some of the pros and cons to registering domain names for friends because there are plenty of both.

Pro – Many people who aren’t in the business of domain names don’t think about buying their baby’s .com domain name when they are born. Some don’t care and some simply don’t think about it. I wish I had my name .com name (not enough to pay a premium for it), and I am sure at least one of my friends’ children will eventually appreciate owning his or her .com domain name.

Con – If you buy a domain name for a baby and they don’t take it for 15 years give or take, that $10 purchase becomes a $150 gift over its lifetime. I would love to give the domain name to my friends earlier than that, but none have domain accounts, and most would probably care less about it than I care.

Pro – Having the perfect domain name for a wedding website is great for wedding invitations and save the dates. Being a domain investor, you can make it easy to get your friends the perfect domain name and set it up.

Con – If something goes wrong in the process, you will be seen as the person responsible for the domain name. If forwarding to the wedding website doesn’t work or if there are other issues (expiration for example), your friends won’t be happy with you.

Pro – As a domain investor, you may have a better purchase and renewal price for domain names, and you also already have an account at a domain registrar. Further, you know how to register a domain name and set up the DNS on a domain name, which your friends might not know.

Con – It can become a pain in the butt to get your friend to transfer the domain name. Sometimes the name isn’t important enough to your friend to go through the trouble of setting up an account and/or learning about domain transfers.

Pro – Friends will be grateful to you when they need or want the domain name you bought for them.

Con – If you forget to renew the domain name, if your domain name account is stolen, or if you face legal troubles and your account is frozen, it could put your friends’ domain names at risk.

There are many great reasons to buy domain names on behalf of friends. There are also a number of cons to consider as well. Your best bet is probably to teach your friends how to register domain names they want because the added responsibility might not be worth it to you to be a nice person. If you are going to register domain names for friends, make sure they are good friends 🙂

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the 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 find that theirs always one person in the family who is internet literate enough to transfer the name to.. Good points overall, but when you consider future generations and how much they would appreciate having it, the pros far out weigh the cons.

    • All of my friends are literate enough (they’re in their 30s) but many don’t have the time or interest in learning how to do it. Some are lawyers, doctors and other professionals. For $10/each, I am happy to do it because I know they appreciate it.

    • I did it for a few friends as well, as long as 7 years, one of which a family member passed on very young and they wanted to use the domain to dedicate to him and his family, I think I wrote about that here or on NamePros… Some are professionals too which can be a good thing, they all have secretaries,receptionists and bookkeepers, If you reach the point you no longer want to act as domain keeper, you can open an account at Godaddy in their name and allow whoever does their accounting to handle it when the name nears expiration, retain a user/pass for yourself and forward the login to your friend. Done.

      Or do the same but move it to Enom and create a sub account in their name, if the name expires you’ll know about it.

      It’s not that much trouble, my biggest problem was trusting them enough to keep the registration from lapsing, but so far so good.

  2. I think that is a truly lovely thought Elliot,and don’t forget the old saying,”it’s the thought that counts” Good on you.I might start doing that myself! Cheers,Horizon

  3. I pick my friends carefully,you only end up with a handful in your life,and mine know what they mean to my wife and me,but also a point well made Elliot,Horizon.

    • Not a chance unless they wanted me to sell.

      Good friends are worth way more than the money.

      However, some friends would probably want to see their name sold, and I’d share the $ if they wanted me to sell.

  4. Like you, I didn’t register these names with even the thought of making money and I still don’t.. What we don’t know is how much value our friends place on these domains, and if the right price came along would they accept?.. I don’t know about your names Elliot, but the ones I registered for friends were primarily last name dot coms, and I received a lot of offers on them, but they were all less than $1000, very little when you consider how much they earn, I think the threshold for me would be $5000+ before I even considered picking up the phone and asking one of my friends, it hasn’t happened yet but one day it might.

    This particular case of the son who passed away, I transferred the domain to the oldest sibling’s Godaddy account and I’m hosting his WordPress site on my server at no charge, That’s what friends do for friends, especially in times of need.

  5. One of my best friends just got a baby boy name Hugo last week and one of the first things i did was to see if i could register a domain name for the little guy, only to find out that pretty much any half decent extension name has been taken for Hugo!


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