Who owns the domain

I have a client for whom I designed a small website, provided hosting and purchased a domain in exchange for their house cleaning services. This went well for the first year, they now want to back out. They still owe at least 3 house cleanings and their hosting renewed in August.

I am proposing to them that we can call it even, they don’t need to come and clean anymore; but they owe me the yearly hosting fee now in cash (which was due 3 months ago). I’m not sure if they are going to agree to this.

If they want to walk away from this deal completely - can I retain the content and domain name? I purchased the domain with my account and it is completely in my name. If I can keep it, but they want it, can I sell it to them? If so, what is a fair price?


Barter is great, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a contract for the different situation that arise.

As far as keeping their domain and their content, why would you want it? Are you running a cleaning service as well?

I am always surprised when clients tell me that their developer or web designer bought their domain and kept it in his/her name. You should transfer that domain to them.

Otherwise it seems like a pretty straight forward math problem. What is their normal fee or what did you and they agree upon for cleaning? If you don’t have a number there, what do others in your area charge for the service? Add up the number of times they have cleaned for you. Multiply it by the fee. Subtract the fee from the web expenses they have incurred. That’s what either you owe them or they still owe you.

Hmm, trying to keep the domain and site sounds like a really bad idea. You really should have registered it in your client’s name, not yours, so I would suggest you suck up the transfer fees, if any.

Anyway, this all sounds fairly simple, especially as I assume we are talking very little amounts of money. Cancel the august renewal invoice, send them their site as an email attachment and transfer the domain to them - wish them well.

My suggestion would be to transfer the domain to the client. Ethically speaking, you purchased the domain on behalf of the client, which you know. Hence, best would be to transfer the domain.

With regards the barter system, as its a cancelled deal you should calculate your costs and the cleaning company’s cost and settle the accounts. That would be the best possible solution.

How much us yearly hosting fee? Maybe around $50 to $80 so I suggest divide that by 12 months then multiply it by 9 months then ask them for that amount of money…that would be $48 I guess.

Now if they don’t want to pay that then technically the domain and hosting is yours.

whois and domainreg are good tools for that