Dissolved companies and domain opportunities

Just to pick up from John’s comment at the end of in my last post and Dan’s post pertaining to struggling companies and possible assets/domains going cheap, this is certainly the time to be investing wisely if you have funds and/or the time commitment to uncover valuable assets.

Domain names are not always seen as assets of a company by the liquidators, sometimes they are spotted, valued and sold but quite often they are forgotten about.

What happens when they are forgotten about?
If the company is limited and goes into liquidation then the domain would likely not be renewed when it came up and go suspended and 99 days later drop to be caught by a dropcatcher (if it’s a good name) and re-registered within percentage of a second.

So does this mean there are no opportunities for ‘normal’ folk without the resources of a dropcatcher?
There are always opportunities! – the domain pcs.co.uk was owned by a company in liquidation and I managed to negotiate it that way before the company was wrapped up, however even if a company is dissolved all hope is not lost.

A couple of months ago I checked up on the domain finest.co.uk – thinking it would make a nice high end site for things like the finest hotels, cars, jewellery, furniture ect, possible high ticket items. At the time the domain was not used and checking the whois it was registered to a limited company.

Going to companies house you can check the limited company for free to see if it still exists, it’s status was DISSOLVED. In this case the company no longer exists so if you inform Nominet about the domain they would usually give you a response like:

Thank you for your secure message regarding the finest.co.uk domain name.

I can confirm that the finest.co.uk domain name is registered to xxxxxxx Ltd,  which is listed at Companies House as a dissolved company.

As a company that is dissolved no longer exists, our contract with the dissolved company is now terminated. This will be looked into and dealt with according to our terms and conditions. 

The terms and conditions of dissolved companies can be found here, basically Nominet inform the registrar and if they do not hear back within around 30 days they change the domain to suspended, in around another 30 days they drop the domain meaning anyone can register it.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that because you spotted this company & domain that your the only one in the know, I thought that when I informed Nominet about the domain huge.co.uk & ladders.co.uk but when trying to register them on the drop they were still caught by dropcatchers and I lost out, so basically as they become suspended they show up on the radar of domain predators 🙂

The fact is you know unlike anyone else the timeline, so you know roughly in 30 days the domain gets suspended, you can then go to the free no win no fee dropcatchers like dropsystem.co.uk & caught.co.uk and book it in there before anyone else knows about it, this could give you the chance of getting it without being a tag holder.

It’s not immoral, the domain would expire eventually as the company is no longer in existence, however it is time consuming with no guarantee of success, I managed to pick up ladder.co.uk & finest.co.uk using this method, for some domains the directors get in touch with Nominet and get the domain updated to avoid being suspended, for others you’ll still lose out but it can give you an advantage over the professionals.

About Scott Jones

Scott hails from the north east of Scotland and started earning online at the end of 2000 building websites for local businesses during which time he won an award from Lord Alan Sugar for Excellence in Enterprise. After having quite a bit of success with domaining Scott mainly runs educational evergreen websites which generate over 3 million visitors per month but is always on the lookout for a fresh thinking out of the box way to turn a buck. Follow on Twitter.


  1. Scott,

    Apologies for being cynical but what stops the “drop” websites registering the names themselves after you’ve alerted them to a particular name?

    • It would be easy to track & trace John if anything like that ever happened they would be out of business pretty quickly but it’s a valid concern, the UK domain space is pretty small though so reputation counts for a lot.

  2. Hi Scott

    How do you manage to pick a date for the drop, is it 99 days from suspension? I ask because I know the no win no fee dropcatchers typically ask you to select a date you want them to try and catch it (certainly dropsystem do this).


  3. Good post,

    This is one thing I have never thought of doing.

    I know how to interrogate dissolved company data from a few sources and this has given me a great idea for an automated tool!


    Andrew Mason’s last blog post..Evernote for iPhone 1.4 brings Local Storage

  4. Wow Scott, those are some valuable domain names you’re acquiring!
    I used to read this blog a while back and have just started again – I’ve got lots of posts to catch up on!

  5. hi Scott, I’m really getting attached to this whole domain name, leasing, renting etc. I never knew one could buy a dropped domain let alone contacting companies house for information by the owner? Won’t that be a breach of personal data(DPA)? Just wondering. keep this theme going..

  6. hi Scott, I’m really getting attached to this whole domain name, leasing, renting etc. I never knew one could buy a dropped domain let alone contacting companies house for information by the owner? Won’t that be a breach of personal data(DPA)? Just wondering. keep this theme going. Ignore the first two pls

    • Don’t see how looking up details at companies house could be a breach of the DPA. The whole idea of companies house is that the public CAN find out the details of companies. It’s data relating to companies rather than individuals.

      • Hi Monica, as John rightly says that’s the trade off with going limited, your details are public knowledge, companies house is there to offer transparent information on limited companies for free.

        • There a a lot of companies that offer services that provide information on Limited companies. These are used for many reasons such as credit scoring etc..

          For example, when you start a new Limited Company you are bombarded with intro offers from companies who have noticed your new business and jump on the registered address. I have had many web design companies contact me through this way in the past.

          There are services out there that will tell you recently dissolved companies. Very handy for trying to catch dropping domains!

          Hope this helps.

          Andrew Mason’s last blog post..Seven Decisions for Success Mind Map

  7. Thanks guys. Never used it before so didn’t want to ‘offend’ anyone using such services.

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