Are you sure you want to close the chat?Chat will be closed and the chat history will be cleared.
continue to sign out,
or stay on chat.
To review this chat session please click this windows.
Chat Online
Chat Online0
permanent domain registration image

Can You Permanently Own a Domain Name?

Brett McKay
Oct 19, 2021 • 4 min read

The idea of permanent domain name registration is an attractive one, especially for high value business brand names or for domain investors trying to secure their most valuable domain names. After all, a single payment to gain complete ownership seems logical and desirable. When diving deeper into the logistics of permanent domain ownership, things become a bit more murky. Before jumping into these specifics, there is the general common question: can you permanently own a domain name?

Permanent Domain Registration: Is it possible?

Permanently owning a domain is not possible. Regardless of where you register a domain name, you can view domain registrations as more of a timed lease. By registering a domain you're allowed temporary ownership of the name to use as you or your company sees fit. This registration is always restricted by time, eventually returning to public availability unless the registrant takes action through the domain renewal process. While this may frustrate some, there are valid reasons that this isn’t possible.

Why Aren’t Permanent Domain Registrations Allowed?

The domain name space has evolved and changed over time. Many new domain extensions (also called top-level domains) are now available for public and restricted registration, new rules have been implemented by ICANN ('The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers', a non-profit responsible for securing and maintaining the structure of the internet), and older rules have been revised. While these have had a large impact on the domain space, much is the general foundation that domain name registration was built upon has remained the same.

At the center of domain registration, it’s important to know that no one really owns a domain name. Not the registrant (user who registers the domain), not the registrar (certain companies that provide domain registrations, like us), and not the registry (entities who create TLDs such as .com or .org). When you register your domain, what you're essentially getting is control over a database record, which you get to decide it's use for a temporary, yet extendable amount of time. Some may define this as ownership (which is frequently the term used when referring to domains) but that really comes down to nuance of what 'ownership' means. At the end of the day, by registering domains you get to decide what IP address users are taken to when your domain name entered in the address bar for the duration that the domain is registered by you. 

One of the primary reasons you can't permanently register domain names is that the domain name infrastructure costs money and resources to run efficiently. With over 155 million domains registered under .com alone, and new TLD being frequently added, there are many expenses created through the domain registration and administrative process. With many more domains now being registered, even more resources are required not only by ICANN, but also by registries and registrar's - there are databases, servers, agreements, and fees involved at various levels that all add up. 

As a result of these various expenses, a yearly registration fee is helpful to ensure that there is consistent monetary flow to make the foundation and process stable, consistent, and secure, while having the ability to grow as needed. If users were allowed to purchase a domain permanently, and enough users did so, there may come a time where the expenses to manage this foundation and process outweighs the income. The current system provides a stable flow of money to make sure there ICANN, registries, and registrars can provide their service effeciently.

About Domain Renewals and Options

Luckily, despite not being able to pay the full price of a domain to get that permanent ownership, you’re provided with the option of choosing how long you want to register your domain upon registration. The time allotment will vary depending on the registrar that you’re using, but typically the minimum will be 1 year, and the maximum will be 10 years. This range provides wide space to anticipate how long you’ll need the domain. Since you’re reading the article, you may be looking for longer domain registrations, so consider registering for the 10 year period if that fits your needs (you’ll often save more by doing as well!).

If you want to replicate the ‘permanent’ domain registration, you can simply register a domain and setup auto-renew, which will automatically renew your domain prior to expiration (so long as the payment method/credit card remains valid). By using auto-renew, you can almost consider your registration to be permanent, so long as your payment method remains valid.

What’s Best For You?

As mentioned, having a domain name registered under your favourite registrar doesn’t technically mean you fully own it, it’s more of a temporary contract between the registry and the registrant (you), with the registrar being the service provider to make registration possible. As such, it’s best to either register your names for the maximum number of years possible or setup auto-renew so you don’t have to think about it year to year (though we do recommend you or someone does keep an eye on managing domains).

If you’re looking to register domain names, make sure to check out our pricing! We’ll help you save more, while also providing simple-to-use interfaces, easy domain management, and 24/7 support should you require assistance.

Download the app:
Download the app: