I have registered a few domains for a certain project. If I should vanish from the face of the earth, how can I ensure the other project members get control of the domain with the registrar?

My current registrar is Go Daddy, if it matters.

I considered sharing my Go Daddy credentials with other project members, but I have registered other domains not associated with the same project.

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    IANAL, but I'd suggest creating a legal entity separate from yourself (e.g. a business, corporation, etc.) and having the domain registered in that name. – Andrew Apr 23 '12 at 23:47
  • @Andrew You should turn that into an answer using the now-standard IANAL formatting... – Ward Apr 24 '12 at 3:07
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    Have you considered placing a bus level firewall in front of your application level gateway and your edge router? Should easily prevent any drive-by bus attacks. – gparent Apr 24 '12 at 3:28
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    @gparent the question is a little misleading. The title suggested the OP was worried about being hit by a bus, but in fact the OP is worried about vanishing from the face of the earth. A bus level firewall is useless against a teleportation attack. – emory Apr 24 '12 at 4:49

I Am Not a Lawyer.

Stop reading right now.

Domain names are property. Treat them as such. Make a will, living trust or whatever makes most sense in your jurisdiction. Avoid probate like it would revive you only to kill you again but this time using very angry capybaras gnawing through vital organs.

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    This. And turn over the keys to which ever entity will be managing this kingdom. – jscott Apr 24 '12 at 0:26
  • Had this happen to me on a site we took over. Previous developer was literally killed by a bus in India. We were required by the registrar to prove that we were the same entity that the domain was for, and they handed us the keys to it. On a side note, it's a bit creepy working on a dead persons code. – Mark Henderson Apr 26 '12 at 9:35

I Am Also Not a Lawyer.

Stop reading right now.

Don't mix registrations for different projects or clients within the same account at a registrar. Find and use a registrar that allows you to create multiple accounts or otherwise separate your registrations so that you can leave a copy of client-specific registration details with someone else in case you're hit by a bus.


You can create an secondary administrative account that is not yours but is able to manager your domain names - you can find appropriate settings in your GoDaddy profile (my account -> settings -> account administrator).

Another "dumb" way is to create a separate account which will be shared between team members and "push" the domain name to that new account.


I Am Also Not a Lawyer.

Stop reading right now.

Create a legal entity (business, corporation, or whatever is appropriate in your geographic location) for that project, and have The Entity be the registrar.


Approaching this from the technical side instead of the legal side (I am not a lawyer either, but let's see if we can come up with a lightweight solution that can prevent anyone from needing to be a lawyer).

First, as has been noted here, don't associate these domains with your personal GoDaddy account. The account portion of the registration is completely free, so there's no reason not to set one up and dedicate it purely to the domains for the company/project. This is good practice in general, and protects against all kinds of scenarios that may come up even if you are very good at dodging buses. Domain registration is more painless than you might think, you can do all of this in well under a day with essentially no risk of downtime or other disruption.

Here's the key element: assign the account to a mailing list, not an individual user's email. When registrations go through, they will go to the list, not just to you. If someone needs to reset the password to the account (e.g. if you unexpectedly win the lottery, move to Tahiti, and blow all this off) they send the password reset link to the mailing list. Anyone can do it, but if they do then everyone will see them doing it. Assuming you guys are all more or less friends and the scope of the project isn't too broad (obviously don't do this on a mailing list/project with open registration) this should be roughly the right amount of overhead for this process.

If it's a huge project with people in mission critical leadership positions who you don't feel you can entirely trust, then unfortunately it's probably time to get some legal recognition of that if , and the domain registrations are only a tiny part of the reason for that. I'm also assuming that GoDaddy does not make your entire credit card info readily available (I haven't been a customer there for some time) if this is not the case then clearly this isn't an ideal solution.

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