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  3. Can an SSL Certificate be issued to an individual (not an organization)?

Can an SSL Certificate be issued to an individual (not an organization)?

An individual not associated with an organization nor a sole trader can have an SSL Certificate issued to their domain/s. For instance, an individual’s blog will most often not be connected to an organization, thus requiring a non-organizational SSL Certificate. It is important to understand which type of SSL Certificates qualify as such. However, individuals who are sole traders have access to organizational SSL Certificates. Although, extra validation is required before such SSL Certificates can be issued.

SSL Certificate validation types

There are three types of SSL Certificate by validation:
Domain Validated (DV)
Organization Validated (OV)
Extended Validation (EV)

OV and EV SSL certificates explicitly require the vetting of an organization’s details, such as legal existence, rendering them unsuitable for individuals seeking to secure a non-organizational website. DV Certificates are perfect for such websites and can be acquired quickly and simply.

How to get a DV SSL Certificate

DV SSL Certificates only require the completion of Domain Control Validation (DCV) before they are issued. As the name implies, DCV proves control over the domain by completing a validation method utilizing either the server the domain is hosted on, its web hosting panel, or an email address associated with the domain. This means, to get issued a DV SSL Certificate, you only need to own a domain – nothing else is needed!

The three types of DCV are as follows:

Approver email: The most popular method of DCV, the approver email is sent to an email address associated with the domain to be secured. It contains a unique code which is to be copied-and-pasted into a URL provided. The Certificate Authority (CA) will then validate and issue the certificate.

HTTP file-based validation: A text file with a unique code is provided, which must then be added to a specified public directory on the website. The CA will then ping the record and, if correct, validate and issue the certificate.

DNS CNAME record: The SSL certificate applicant needs to add a CNAME record to their DNS servers, which is provided by the CA. Once added, the CA will then ping the record and, if correct, validate and issue the certificate.

Once one of the three validation methods is completed, your SSL Certificate will be issued.

Sole traders

As previously mentioned, sole traders have access to OV and EV SSL Certificates. However, additional validation is required before these SSL Certificates can be issued.

OV and EV SSL Certificates require validation of the following:

  • Sole trader legal name and status (as registered with its respective government)
  • Sole trader operational status
  • Business address
  • Sole trader registered phone number
  • Domain Control Validation
  • Subscriber Agreement (EV only)

If those validation requirements can be met by the sole trader, they can apply for and be issued an OV or EV SSL Certificate.

Updated on July 24, 2019

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