What to do if a tech firm bought and secured our company internet domain for us as a favor and now is not releasing the domain to us?

UPDATED: Feb 21, 2012

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What to do if a tech firm bought and secured our company internet domain for us as a favor and now is not releasing the domain to us?

We are a startup and needed a tech firm to help build our platform. A member of our team suggested a friend that owned a small tech shop. As a favor the owner of the tech shop bought the internet domain of our company for us. As our partnership discussions continued they realized they were not the right firm for us. They sent through an invoice for work that they want them to pay for even though there was never an agreement verbal or contractual. They are now withholding the domain our company URL and not giving it to us. What can or should we do?

Asked on February 21, 2012 under Business Law, California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Good question. The problem that I see is that the tech firm even though it was to secure an internet domain for your company as a favor, it seems to own the domain. Unless there is written documentation stating that the acquisition of the name was to owned by you send and/or signed by a representative of the tech firm, you either have to pay the invoice sent to get the domain name or lose the name.

I suggest that you consult with a business attorney about the situation you are in.

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