Ownership change FAQ

What is the difference between a transfer, an ownership change, and a trade?

A transfer is a change of registrar. It means a domain name is being moved from either another registrar to Gandi or from Gandi to another registrar.

An ownership change is a change of registrant. It involves moving a domain from one Gandi account to another, for example:

  • When one Gandi customer is handing ownership of the domain over to another Gandi customer
  • When a Gandi customer has multiple handles and needs to move the domain from one handle to another

A trade is a simultaneous change of registrar and registrant.

When is an owner change needed?

An ownership change is necessary any time a domain name must be moved from one Gandi account to another.

An owner change is needed (for example):

  • When one Gandi customer is handing ownership of the domain over to another Gandi customer
  • When a Gandi customer has multiple handles and needs to move the domain from one handle to another
  • When you've had a legal name change, or have registered the domain under any name other than your legal one (since it is not possible to modify the name associated with a handle)
  • When you have created a company and need to transfer ownership of the domain name to your company (since it is not possible to modify handle type from individual to company)

What ownership changes are *not*:

  • It is not possible to change the owner of a server, so this guide only refers to domain names.
  • When your domain name is managed by a reseller, but you have decided you want to manage it yourself directly at Gandi. In this case, see the reseller in order to have them release your Gandi handle.

How can I change the owner of a domain?

Depending on the extension, owner changes can be done online, or may require some paper forms. See Changing the owner of a domain name for more information.

How can I modify the owner details?

The domain details are linked to the Gandi handle that is listed as the owner contact. Therefore, you just need to modify that handle's details; your modifications will be reflected automatically in the Whois database for any domains the handle is listed as a contact of. Remember that you cannot change the name of the owner without going through the owner change process.

You can normally change any handle parameter except the name, currency and handle type (except when converting from a company type to a reseller type).

See Changing Account Information for more information.

How much does it cost?

The price of an ownership change depends on the price rate of the Gandi handle and the extension in question.

The process of changing the owner for certain TLDs sometimes includes a renewal: the new expiration date of a domain becomes the ownership change date plus one year.

Owner changes are only free if:

If you see that it is not free and you are charged, this is usually normal.

Specific prices for each extension can be found on our price list or on each extension's detail page, for example: .com

Can the ownership change be paid for by the future owner instead of the current owner?

Yes, but it requires one extra step:

Ownership changes can be initiated by either the owner contact or the administrative contact of a domain.

If you want the future owner to pay for the operation, simply put his or her handle as the administrative contact and have them launch the owner change from their handle. They will then pay and the invoice will be in their name.

For help changing the administrative contact, see Changing the contacts of a domain (other than the owner)

When an ownership change is done on a domain, what happens to the associated services?

Zone file

Zone files associated with a domain will still be owned by the old owner after an ownership change. The domain's new owner has to make a copy before editing the zone file.


Mailboxes are not deleted during an ownership change of a domain. After the owner change, the mailboxes can be managed by the new owner as well as the domain's administrative and technical contacts.

The domain's old owner will no longer have access unless they are the administrative or technical contact on the domain.

Websites (GandiSite and SiteMaker)

GandiSite and SiteMaker sites created by the domain's old owner will remain in the old account and are not accessible to the domain's new owner.

The old owner's GandiSite will continue to be free. The domain's new owner will not be able to create a new free GandiSite.

SSL certificates

SSL certificates are not transferred automatically to the new owner handle when a domain changes owners.

The new owner of the domain cannot create a new free standard SSL certificate if one has already been used on the domain.

Web forwarding entries

Web forwarding entries carry over to the new account upon owner change.

Expiration date

In most cases, the expiration date of a domain stays the same during an ownership change. However, it can sometimes change, depending on the TLD.


Blogs are moved to the account of the domain's new owner.

See also

Last modified: 06/15/2014 at 07:35 by AJ B. (Gandi)