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What if your domain name is already registered ?

First find out who registered the domain name: you can check this with a search via the competent registries (DNS for .be domain names, SIDN for .nl domain names and EURID for .eu domain names). Most registries will not publish the data of individuals, the data will only be given if a company registered the name.

  • If a domain name contains your trade name or trademark and the registration was done with the intention of violating your rights and obtaining a commercial advantage, the domain name was registered in bad faith. This is also known as "cybersquatting". This is the case when, for example, the domain name holder wishes to offer the domain name to you for a lot of money or when similar services or products are offered through the website which may mislead visitors. But don’t worry, you can take action, either through an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) procedure that most domain name registries offer, or, for some domain names, through a specific judicial procedure for unlawful registration. Note that and Alternative Dispute Resolution procedure is cheaper and easier than a judicial procedure. More information about these procedures can be found on the domain name registries’ website.
  • If the domain name was not registered in bad faith, you can try to contact the domain name holder and ask them to sell the domain name to you, or, if that does not work, you can get creative and invent a new domain name.