In all generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) and most country code TLDs (ccTLDs), registrants are required to provide three points of contact when registering a domain name. The registrant is the individual or entity on record as having registered the domain. The other contacts are role contacts:
- A technical contact is responsible for technical matters related to a domain, such as DNS operation;
- An administrative contact has authority to represent the registrant to the registrar in administrative matters; and
- A billing contact is responsible for payment and financial matters.
These points of contact are critically important. At most registrars, these points of contact have authority to make certain changes to registration information, including name server information for DNS operations.
Use separate identities for registrant, technical, administrative, and billing contacts. Consider creating unique points of contact for registrant, technical, administrative, and billing contacts. Identifying multiple points of contact offers an organization some protection in situations where a single contact is provided for all roles and that contact ceases to be employed by an organization, or in a circumstance where the only identified contact is not available to resolve a problem or respond to a reported abuse of the domain name. Distinct points of contact also offer some diversity in managing domain names. Each of these contacts can represent departments or divisions in an organization that are responsible for some aspect of domain name management. For example, while legal staff or an IP&T department may be best suited to manage the registrant role, IT may be best suited to manage the technical role, corporate communications may be best suited to manage the administrative role, and finance best suited to manage the billing role.
Small businesses can seek assistance from web hosting companies, ISPs, resellers, or registrars to apply this kind of diversity. Provide your business entity contact as the registrant contact information to retain your association with the domain. Use your business entity contact as the billing contact as well to ensure you receive payment requests. Identify a web hosting company, ISP, reseller, or registrar as the technical or administrative contact. A small business may want to consider identifying its hosting company, ISP, reseller, or registrar as the technical or administrative contact. Such external parties often have stronger internal controls and may be better able to track changes or resolve technical problems than the small business would implement.