Usually how it works is it starts with an idea for a new project or business. You think of the perfect name for it, a million-dollar name if you will. A website is necessary to spread the word about this great new idea. In anticipation, you search to see if the domain name is available. When you search for the domain name you realize it is unavailable. Most likely someone already owns this domain name. In other, less likely cases, the domain name could be a restricted name, held by the domain Registry.
The next step is to research the name. Visit the website, see if it is being used or it. Does it have content on it? Is the content updated frequently? Is it visibly for sale with contact information of the seller listed on the landing page? If not, you can continue your research with the WHOIS database. The WHOIS database is the central repository of domain owner information for all ICANN-regulated domains. This will tell you if the domain owner has private domain registration.
What is domain privacy protection?
How domain private registration works:
How has domain private registration changed over the years?
How WHOIS information looks for all of our clients today.