Author: Rob Littlewood, Clearwater Workplace Solutions

Let’s face it most of us in business have an online presence of some kind. If you aren’t taking orders, responding to queries or getting your name out there in internet land then you are probably hooking up with some Company somewhere to access their services. So, imagine how devastating and potentially catastrophic having your Domain deregistered might be!


That’s exactly what StewArt Media founder Jim Stewart was facing when an unknown person lodged a complaint in relation to his domain. It may come as a surprise to you that in Australia any individual may lodge a complaint with domain registry authority auDA to have a web domain deregistered, where ownership data lodged for an address is either incorrect, or where there is a belief that a business and a domain name are not actually connected.


Let’s think about StewArt Media’s situation for a minute. After all, so many businesses these days are refining their processes, changing their structures and even their operating entities for any number of good business reasons. So, when Stewart’s company’s operational structure changed a few years ago, a simple administrative error in not updating his Australian Business Number details lodged against his domain name lead to his having to front up the Authority for a ‘please explain’ and he had to provide proof that his Company genuinely owned his website. Think about the time, financial and emotional costs that would come along with that!


You can imagine that Stewart was understandably upset, and he admits to a ‘stupid’ error being made which lead to this situation back in February this year when the complaint was upheld by auDA. StewArt referred to himself as being a ‘d…head’ when it came to end up in this situation. How many of us have had similar ‘cringeworthy’ situations in business where the learning curve when running your operations seems to be vertical and the ‘gaining experience’ can take us to within a hair’ breadth away from potential disaster?


It’s worth checking that all your ownership data lodged against your domain registration(s) is kept up to date and reviewed regularly. When making a basic mistake like the one made at StewArt can lead to significant costs in terms of time and money, it’s enough to keep you well and truly awake at night. Stewart himself estimated that his business outlaid in excess of $100K in order to deal with this situation.


Not sure how many of us could survive that impost.