We revise the possibility of having an amplified surface potential in ferroelectric field-effect transistors pointed out by [S. Salahuddin and S. Datta, Nano Lett. 8, 405 (2008)]. We show that the negative-capacitance regime that allows for such amplification is actually bounded by the appearance of multidomain ferroelectricity. This imposes a severe limit to the maximum step-up of the surface potential obtainable in the device. We indicate new device design rules taking into account this scenario. © 2010 American Institute of Physics.