Newbie here so please correct me

  • Domain names are purchased through a domain name registrar.
  • In order to purchase and manage the domain, you need an account with the registrar.
  • That account requires an email address for whatever.

If this is true, what email do large companies/corporations use to buy their domain name? Surely they do not just use a personal gmail..?

Edit for clarity: The question is what email do corporations use before they even have a domain name? E.g. Apple cannot buy apple.com without an email address, but they cannot use *@apple.com since they don't yet own it. What email would they use?

  • 1
    Large companies have their own email systems. Why would you think they might use a personal gmail address to register a domain? Apr 28, 2021 at 8:56
  • If the question is "if a company does not have a company email address, how can they obtain a domain name", the answer is use another address [ and maybe change the address once you have the domain name ]. Using a gmail address, the address of a lawyer or of another domain name the company controls are all options. Historically, universities and ISP's would give out addresses, so those could have been used to kick-start a registration without relying on a free email provider.
    – davidgo
    Apr 28, 2021 at 10:06
  • Yes @davidgo. I have edited the question, apologies for the lack of clarity
    – kexu
    Apr 28, 2021 at 17:15

1 Answer 1


That account requires an email address for whatever.

ICANN regulations require registrars to collect email addresses, and that apply to gTLDs, but ccTLDs have often similar constraints, so that the registrars and the registry can contact end client in case of problems.

With the current legal frameworks (GDPR and the like), it is often hidden in whois output, but not always. Do a whois on apple.com and you will see what email address they used.

Nothing special there, anyone is free to use any email they want.

Also big companies, and for example for hidden/not announced project, often used proxies to register names, like attorneys or their registrar acting on their behalf.

What specifically triggered your question of

If this is true, what email do large companies/corporations use to buy their domain name?

Anything particular in mind?

So you edited the question later to add:

The question is what email do corporations use before they even have a domain name?

Yes, of course, if you buy example.com, it is not possible to use email address [email protected] in advance, before the domain exists (possible to use if no checking tool verifies the domain name existence in advance, but even so, obviously no emails can be received there so if you need some email validation thing going on, you're blocked).

More complicated than that as you might be conflating two separate issues:

  • to create a domain through some registrar, you need an account; creating an account needs an email address generally (but that remains specific to any registrar process)
  • when you create a domain, you chose contacts, which have email addresses and those email addresses may appear in public whois/RDAP queries, or not, but anyway can be (should be I would even say) completely different from the email address used by the account owning those names at that specific registrar.

Sometimes the contacts email address are just that, and have no power on the name itself. Other times, and in the past, there were options like "send authcode to admin email address" or "reset account password and send link to registrant email address". All of that is specific per registrar and their security processes and posture.

But even so, it is often not recommended. Or more precisely it is complicated:

  • if you register names with specific other email addresses then the security of your domain might be in fact tied to the security of those email addresses if anything related to domain account management can go through those email addresses (even worth, and a known "attack", if the domain name on which those email addresses are is expiring and is registered by another party unbeknownst to you...)
  • if you register names with email addresses in those names (easy: you register with other email addresses and you later change them, which is why a whois query on apple.com shows email addresses of [email protected] and the like), you are then vulnerable to any problem affecting this domain resolution, as it might mean nothing will work for it anymore... including the email addresses under it.

Hence the choice between those two cases is not easy, and they need at least to be clearly seen.

  • Hey Patrick, thanks for your answer, I edited the OP to be more clear about the question
    – kexu
    Apr 28, 2021 at 17:13

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