I have a site and a company. How do I actually put the site as owned by this company?


3

Essentially, a site is just something independent that lives on the Web. How do I actually associate that site as being protected under legal liability of my LLC company?

Does it just happen automatically? Or is there some legal paperwork that needs to be signed?

Thanks,
Alex

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asked May 9 '11 at 13:56
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Genadinik
1,821 points
  • You may not want to, it may be better for you to personally own the domain name and licence it to the company. Take advice from a local accountant that understands this sort of thing, it can effect the tax you pay if you every sell up. – Ian Ringrose 6 years ago
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3 Answers


5

I'm fairly sure there is no global consensus on how this is done. The one time I went to court over something like this, my lawyer actually brought a large set of screendumps to paper as evidence of the other party's websites ownership status.

What I would suggest is:

  1. Be sure that the domain registration is in the name of the company, and not in your personal name. Using Microsoft as an example, a WHOIS search should return the company name and registered street address of the company. If this isn't what you have now, then change it with your domain registrar. In some cases you can just change your account data, in others you must transfer the domain to a new account in the company name.
  2. Have an "About Us" or "Contact Us" web page or similar, and use the full company name including the legal prefix or suffix here. I.e. "SIA Company", Company GmbH, Company Inc, Company LLC, et cetera. Also show the companys registered address, the VAT number, etc. In some countries, this may even be a legal requirement.
  3. Have a "Terms of Use" document (a.k.a. a Terms of Service), or a "Legal" section, or a Privacy Policy, as it is most appropriate for your situation. Have these documents prominently linked from each webpage, for example with a link in the footer of each page. Word these a documents as an actual legal document, with a top section which describes who the contracting parties are. You see this Lloyd's policy to get an idea of what I mean.
If you really want a clear paper trail for some of this, then you could consider registering "companyname.com" as a trademark for your company.
answered May 9 '11 at 23:18
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Jesper Mortensen
15,292 points

3

It happens automatically by virtue of the fact that your LLC owns and controls the website. This is probably documented by the domain registrar which lists the owner of each domain, and could also be proven by asking the web hosting company who controls the site. The important thing is to make sure the domain is registered in your name, that the contracts you sign with the web hosting company and/or internet provider are in the company's name, not yours, and that any servers were purchased by the company, not by you personally.

If these things are not currently owned by the company, you may want to sign a contract of sale so that you have proof that the company has purchased them.

Also, as a general rule, it never hurts to display the name of your company somewhere, like on the bottom of the home page.

(I am not a lawyer in any jurisdiction and this does not constitute legal advice.)

answered May 9 '11 at 18:05
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Joel Spolsky
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1

Ultimately the ownership resides with domain name ownership... All the control of a website can be broken down to the level at which the domain name is managed - this is where you define what IP address it points to etc. So while nobody can come along and just take your website, you need to make sure that the LLC owns the domain name. By owning the domain name, you get to point it at your servers that serve your code. So if your LLC owns the domain name, then you're covered. If you personally own the domain name, and not the LLC, then you're going to need to transfer it to the LLC. Even though the LLC is owned by its members, it is a separate legal entity to the individuals that own it - so to be covered by the LLC umbrella it must own the domain name (and preferably pay for the hosting services etc).

answered May 9 '11 at 18:05
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Edralph
2,333 points

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