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<*HEAD*>Different policies for different endings Each different domain name ending (for example, .com, .com.au) is governed by a different organisation and a different set of rules. For this reason, the requirements for registering domain names vary, along with other factors such as cost of registration, how long the domain name registration lasts before requiring renewal and who is eligible to apply. Comprehensive details on all these factors for each domain name type can be found in our domain name information pages. <*HEAD*>Unrestricted domains A number of popular domain names have no particular restrictions on who can apply for a name or on how that name is composed. (Note that in all cases, we strongly recommend against registering a name that infringes on a third parties trademarks, whether or not such a name appears to be available for registration.)

Names that can be registered by anyone, anywhere include the global endings .com, .net and .org. Several countries also offer unrestricted registration including the United Kingdom (.co.uk), Denmark (.dk), South Africa (.co.za), New Zealand (.co.nz and .net.nz) and the Philippines (.ph and .com.ph).

From a corporate point of view, these domain names are thus "high risk" in the sense that there is a much higher chance that other people have already registered names that you might have sought to register yourself. In the case of registrations made by someone else that were obviously in bad faith and primarily to "cyber-squat" or infringe on your established trademarks, recovery of names is often now possible. However, although this is much easier and less costly than in the past, the costs are still several times higher than having simply registered the domain name youself in the first place.

Understandably, domains that are unrestricted make up the majority of domains registered worldwide, since registration is so easy. This can mean popular, generic words have already been registered by other people. It also means there is now an established secondary market as people have come to appreciate the importance of popular, short and easy to remember domain names. <*HEAD*>Domain endings with restricted registration A number of country code domain name endings have more restricted registration policies. These have usually been introduced to counter what are perceived to be the negative effects of the "free for all" policies described above. In most cases, the restrictions are intended to do one or more of the following:

  • prevent the monopolisation of generic terms by a single individual or corporation (achieved by placing restrictions on generic words, geographical place names).

  • reduce the problems associated with cyber-squatting and unauthorised registration of domain names by third parties with no rights to the name (achieved by forcing applicants to register domain names that are a close or exact representation of their official company or business name).

  • protect the country's domain name ending as an asset for the exclusive benefit of its citizens (by requiring valid proof of local residency or citizenship prior to registration).

    While these rules are strictly enforced and not subject to negotiation, we are can advise you on how best to work in with current policies and to facilitate the registration of domain names you may be seeking. If you do not currently meet the requirements for a particular domain name that you would like to register, please contact us for further information on how you may be able to meet the requirements.

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