When a business changes hands there are many things to consider, and items that need to be transferred to the new owner to ensure there is no disruption to your online presence. It’s important to discuss this at the outset and make sure you are on the same page about transferring ownership of all digital assets. Digital resources often get forgotten about, and this can cause a lot of headaches and unnecessary work and setup if they do not get sorted, not to mention down time to your website, and the inability to access social platforms. This can be detrimental to your business operations, and potentially lose you business and money.

Website

  • There are multiple accounts that need to be handed over for this to happen smoothly:
  • Domain name: This is the address of your website, e.g. thenewblack.co.nz. You either need to be given the login details for where this is registered or have the domain name transferred to your own account/provider. To have the previous owner transfer the domain name you need to ask them for the UDAI. Also check if any other variations of the domain name have been purchased. Sometimes they might have also purchased the .com, .nz versions, or other variations of the business name.
  • DNS records may also be managed by a 3rd party provider such as Cloudflare. If this is the case, login details for this will be required as well.
  • Web hosting: Find out where your website is hosted. It may be self-hosted through a platform such as Shopify, Wix or Square Space. If this is the case, you will just need to get the login details for the relevant platform. If the website is using a CMS such as WordPress or Silverstripe, then there will be a separate hosting company that hosts the website, as well as login details to edit the actual website itself. So, make sure details for both of these are passed over.
  • If your website is a WordPress site and there are premium (paid) plugins used, then there may also be login details for wherever these have been purchased.
  • If you accept payments on your website then you will also need to get the details of these payment accounts, for example Stripe, eWay, PayPal etc. You may also have a booking platform connected to your site, so make sure this is covered too.
  • If you have an online store, this may be connected to an in-store POS system. If this is the case make sure you know how to access this, or who controls it.
  • Sometimes a web development company or agency completely manages the website, hosting and domain name. In these situations you will need to know who your account manager is, or who the contact person is. This way you know who to communicate with to get changes made, and who to contact if you wish to access the site or any of these items yourself.

Email

If there is business email, you will need the details of where this is set up and what service it uses. It might be custom email through the web host, or it may be Outlook/O365, Google, Gmail, Yahoo etc. If the business uses Google Workspace and Wix, your email may be tied into Wix, so it can be a good idea to transfer the email into a separate Google admin account to save any issues down the track. There is a process to go through to do this, and Google support can facilitate it. It’s important to follow the correct process when transferring domain names and email to avoid down time and losing emails.

Social media

Make sure you get login details for all the social media channels that are set up for the business, including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter etc. For some of these platforms the login details are connected to a Google account, for others there will be specific login details (e.g. Instagram), and for Facebook you will need an existing administrator to add your own Facebook profile as an administrator on the page. It’s important to discuss taking over ownership of these platforms, and make sure you are on the same page about who owns what.

If the business also has a Facebook Business Manager / Meta account, then it’s also very important that you get added to this as well, so you have complete control and ownership of the Facebook and Instagram accounts. Also make sure you have access to any Facebook ad accounts and pixels that may be set up.

Other online assets

There are various services associated with Google that you may need to get access to, such as:

  • Google My Business listing
  • Google Analytics
  • Google Search Console
  • Google Tag Manager
  • Google Ads
  • YouTube

Theoretically these should all be connected to the one Google account, however sometimes these are set up by third parties, such as a web developer or marketing company, so it’s important to make sure you either have access to a Google account that is attached to these accounts, or you ask to be added to these accounts (you will need a Google-enabled email address to be added).

Also check for login details to any accounts such as:

  • Trip Advisor Online booking systems
  • Dropbox
  • Google Drive
  • One Drive
  • Vimeo

Other business assets

  • Access to original, high res logo files
  • Access to all images of the business.