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One of the most important decisions in running an online store is deciding on a brand name. Your business name is the first thing a person meets. Matching up your website URL, domain name, and business name is ideal. However, it isn't always possible.

Have you encountered the perfect domain name you're eager to have for your online store? Don't worry; it's not the end of the world. Some domain owners will allow you to buy the domain from them.

It can be hard to locate a domain owner so you can make contact, but in this article, you'll learn how to find out who owns domain names. Equally, if you're looking to sell a domain to someone with a similar one to your own, this article will help you too.

Table of Contents:

How to Find Out Who Owns a Domain Name 🔎️

The easiest way to locate domain owners is by using the WHOIS database. The WHOIS domain database is a free master list of all registered domains online. The database is public; anyone can determine who owns a domain.

The WHOIS domain lookup tool is the best way to obtain information about a registered domain. It will tell you the following:

  • The domain registrar, registrant, and the current owner and their contact details, telephone number, and other information you may need.
  • You'll be able to find important dates, such as the domain registration date and any expiration dates.
  • You'll be able to see any technical data, such as the domain registrar used and how many previous owners the domain has had.

So, now you know what information you'll find in the WHOIS database, you can use the WHOIS domain lookup in four simple steps:

  1. Enter the WHOIS Database website.
  2. Use the WHOIS lookup tool to search for the domain name URL.
  3. Check if the contact information is public or private.
  4. Find the registrant's contact information and contact the current owner.

The WHOIS Database

The WHOIS database is a lookup tool created by Shopify. It allows you to identify domain ownership with the public WHOIS database.

Once you're on the WHOIS domain lookup tool, you'll see a page like this:

Shopify Domain Tool

Enter the domain name you want and start the WHOIS search. It will reveal basic information like the domain name, ID, domain registrar server, and URL. You'll see if the domain name is taken and other possible domain names you can choose from.

Domain Name Search

You'll find the contact email and phone number if you click to view more information.

Once you've found the desired information, you can contact the domain owner and negotiate a deal for the domain name. If you're successful in your negotiations, you can migrate your site to the new domain, or if you're starting your site from scratch, you can use the domain immediately.

What to Do If You're Looking to Sell Your Domain Name

If you've got a domain name you do not want anymore, you can use the WHOIS lookup tool to search for similar domain names to the one you own.

It's the same process, so if your domain name is “”, you could use the WHOIS search to find similar ones like “”. You can use the WHOIS contact information provided in the search to reach out and see if the domain owner would be interested in purchasing your domain name.

Locating Domain Owner: A Guide 📝️

In the following section, you'll learn more about domains, why someone may want to find domain data, and some suggestions on developing alternative domain names if your negotiation isn't successful.

What is a Domain Name?

Simply put, a domain name is a unique address used to access websites. The best domains are simple and easy to remember. A domain name identifies services provided through the internet. The most popular e-commerce domain is It's short, snappy, and straight to the point. As Amazon is the business's name, it's easy to identify. Your domain name should be equally as identifiable.

Domain Name Alternatives

You may not have been able to get your hands on a particular domain name, and if that is the case, it's not the end of the world. As you can see from the WHOIS lookup tool, it gives you some suggestions. Still, we also have some more tips for choosing a new domain name:

  • Domain name generator: if you're running a Shopify store, you can use their free domain name generator. Enter all your ideas and keywords, and they'll suggest alternative domain names.
  • Add an extra word: You can develop a great domain name by adding an extra word. For example, you could try “” or “” if you sell ties. It doesn't take away the essence of your business and still makes perfect sense.
  • Choose a different top-level domain (TLD): the most common web address TLD is .com, but you can choose from others. Your domain name may be available at: co, .shop, .org or other TLDs.

Final Thoughts on Domain Ownership 💡️

Owning a domain name that matches perfectly with your business is ideal for any online store, but it's not the end of the world if you have to make a few alterations.  You can ensure your site has a great domain name with everything you've learned from this article.

FAQs 🗯️

How Do I Find Out Who Owns a Domain Name for Free?

Using WHOIS domain lookup is the best way to obtain information about a registered domain, and it's free! You can determine who owns a domain in four simple steps:

  1. Enter the WHOIS Database website.
  2. Use the WHOIS lookup tool to search for the domain name URL.
  3. Check if the contact information is public or private.
  4. Find the registrant's contact information and contact the current owner.

Who is the Person That Owns a Domain?

Domain names are owned by whoever registers the web address with a domain registration service. A person can maintain ownership by paying a registration fee. Register a name with Google, UK Domains, or other registration services.

Is the Registrar of a Domain Name the Owner?

No, registrars are like a dealership for domain names. They facilitate transactions and provide support. A domain registrar handles the reservation of domain names and the assignment of IP addresses. The domain owner is the registrant who registers and pays for the domain.

What Do I Do If a Domain Name is Already Taken?

There are two options if a domain name isn’t available:

  • You can look up who owns a domain name via the WHOIS lookup tool and use the WHOIS information to contact the owner to buy it from them.
  • If the owner isn't willing to sell, you may have to create an alternative domain name. You can either add an extra word like “shop” or “buy”, or you can see if a different top-level domain is available, so instead of registering your site under “.com”, try an alternative like “.org”.

Are Domain Name Owners Public?

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) ensures that domain information and ownership are publicly available. Available information includes the domain owner's name, address, email address, and phone number.