Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers

General Questions

Complaints and Disputes

Please refer to the ICANN.org Complaint Submission & FAQ at: http://www.icann.org/en/resources/compliance/complaints to submit a complaint or learn more.

Questions related to Registering a Domain Name

  1. Before You Register a Domain Name
  2. How do I register a domain name?
  3. What are the rules for registration of .biz, .com, .info, .name, .net, .org, and .pro names?
  4. What are the rules for registration of .aero, .coop, and .museum names?
  5. Can I register a domain name that includes non-ASCii (examples) characters?
  6. When I register a domain name, will my name and contact information become publicly available?
  7. How long does a registration last? Can it be renewed?
  8. I have seen advertisements for domain-name registration by companies not in the accredited registrar directory. Are these legitimate?
  9. I just registered a domain name. How do I turn this into a working website?
  10. Am I required to sign up for hosting services from the same company where I registered the domain name?.

Questions related to Registrar Suspension

  1. What does registrar suspension mean?
  2. Why would an ICANN-accredited registrar be suspended?
  3. How long will a registrar suspension last?
  4. How will the public be made aware of a registrar suspension?
  5. If I have domain names with a registrar that has been suspended by ICANN, will I lose my domain names?
  6. My domain name with the suspended registrar is about to expire. How can I make sure it is not lost during the suspension?
  7. What happens if a domain name is registered through a reseller of the suspended registrar?
  8. What will happen to the suspended registrar after the suspension period?
  9. What happens if the suspended registrar's accreditation is eventually terminated by ICANN and how will registrants be affected?
  10. What support does ICANN need from registries to suspend a registrar?
  11. How will registries be informed of registrar suspensions?
  12. How should registries respond to inquiries about a suspended registrar?
  13. Should registries process auto-renewals for suspended registrars?
  14. Will there be a standard execution time?
  15. If a registrar cures all breaches referenced in ICANN's notice of suspension, will the suspension period be shortened?
  16. Under what circumstances will ICANN consider extending the suspension period?
  17. How will registries know if a registrar suspension will be extended or lifted?
  18. How should registries report the status of a "suspended" registrar in their monthly reports to ICANN and what additional tracking information should be reflected in the monthly reports once a registrar comes off of suspension?
  19. Will ICANN indemnify a registry for actions taken in support of a registrar suspension?
  20. Will suspended registrars be prohibited from complying with court orders pertaining to inbound transfers?

Registering a Domain Name

  1. Before You Register a Domain Name

    You will find multiple companies offering various types of domain name registration services. Before completing any transaction relating to domain name registration, ICANN offers these general guidelines:

    • Know who you are dealing with. ICANN has accredited a number of companies for provision of domain-name registration services. We recommend dealing directly with an ICANN-accredited registrar. The full list of accredited registrars is available here. If you choose to register a domain name with a company that is not an accredited registrar, make sure to read the registration agreement carefully to identify any other parties you may also be contracting with,
    • Research the registrar's customer service. Does the registrar offer the types of services you require? What type of support do they offer for their services? Do they have readily accessible contact information? Can they answer the questions you have? When you do an online search, do you come up with a list of complaints against them? Checking out this information ahead of time can save you a lot of problems later.
    • Read and understand the terms and conditions. When registering a domain name online, you will be asked to accept the terms and conditions of a registration agreement. By completing the domain registration, you are agreeing to these terms. The agreement contains important information about the rights you have in the domain name, the use of your personal data, the fees a registrar may charge you, and under what conditions you may switch service to new providers. While it may be tempting to speed through this step and click "I AGREE," taking the time to read this first can save you from unpleasant surprises later.

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  2. How do I register a domain name?

    Domain names can be registered through many different companies (known as "registrars") that compete with one another. A listing of these companies appears in the Registrar Directory on this site.

    The registrar you choose will ask you to provide various contact and technical information that makes up the registration. The registrar will then keep records of the contact information and submit the technical information to a central directory known as the "registry." This registry provides other computers on the Internet the information necessary to send you e-mail or to find your web site. You will also be required to enter a registration contract with the registrar, which sets forth the terms under which your registration is accepted and will be maintained.

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  3. What are the rules for registration of .biz, .com, .info, .name, .net, .org, and .pro names?

    Please contact your registrar for more information or visit the Registry websites listed below.

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  4. What are the rules for registration of .aero, .coop, and .museum names?

    The .aero, .coop, and .museum TLDs are sponsored TLDs and are designed for use within a specified community. Registration restrictions for these TLDs have been developed by the sponsor with input from the community. For more information, contact your registrar or visit the sponsor sites listed below.

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  5. Can I register a domain name that includes non-ASCii (examples) characters?

    Some top-level domains are offering Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) registrations. These can be registered by participating registrars. Contact your registrar for more information.

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  6. When I register a domain name, will my name and contact information become publicly available?

    Information about who is responsible for domain names is publicly available to allow rapid resolution of technical problems and to permit enforcement of consumer protection, trademark, and other laws. The registrar will make this information available to the public on a "Whois" site. It is, however, possible to register a domain in the name of a third party, as long as they agree to accept responsibility -- ask your registrar for further details.

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  7. How long does a registration last? Can it be renewed?

    Each registrar has the flexibility to offer initial and renewal registrations in one-year increments, provided that the maximum remaining unexpired term shall not exceed ten years.

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  8. I have seen advertisements for domain-name registration by companies not in the accredited registrar directory. Are these legitimate?

    Many companies that are not accredited by ICANN offer domain registration services - some are reselling names obtained from accredited registrars. ICANN recommends that you deal directly with an accredited registrar.

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  9. I just registered a domain name. How do I turn this into a working website?

    In order for a domain name to resolve on the Internet, you will need to secure hosting services for the domain.

    In general terms, you'll need to obtain a static (fixed) IP address for your computer from your ISP (although there are work-arounds for dynamically-assigned IP addresses). You'll need to arrange for two external computers acting as nameservers to point your domain at your IP address. Your registrar can then point your domain at the two nameservers which have been configured with your information.

    For more detailed instructions, please ask your ISP, registrar, or search the web or Usenet for advice.

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  10. Am I required to sign up for hosting services from the same company where I registered the domain name?

    No. Some registrars may offer hosting services or include them as part of a package when you register the name, but you are not required to use these services.

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Registrar Suspension Questions

  1. What does registrar suspension mean?

    It means a registrar's ability to sponsor new domain names or initiate inbound transfers is temporarily suspended by ICANN. It's not a full suspension of the registrar's accreditation because other registrar services, such as outbound transfers, updates and domain renewals and redemptions, are not affected.

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  2. Why would an ICANN-accredited registrar be suspended?

    Because the registrar has not fulfilled some important obligations under its accreditation agreement with ICANN, see Section 2.1 of the 2009 Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA).

    Registrar suspension is an enforcement tool that is intended to give the registrar an opportunity to address the problems and become compliant with its RAA obligations.

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  3. How long will a registrar suspension last?

    It will be for a fixed period, as specified in a notice of suspension. The suspension period could last for just a few days, up to 12 months, depending on the severity of the breaches and the surrounding circumstances.

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  4. How will the public be made aware of a registrar suspension?

    All registrar suspensions (and any updates) will be communicated to the public through the posting of a notice of suspension on ICANN's Contractual Compliance web page.

    In addition, the suspended registrar is required to prominently display on its web site a message informing registrants that no new registrations or inbound transfers will be accepted.

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  5. If I have domain names with a registrar that has been suspended by ICANN, will I lose my domain names?

    No. Your domain names are still sponsored by the suspended registrar and governed by the terms of your registration agreement with the registrar and applicable ICANN Consensus Policies.

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  6. My domain name with the suspended registrar is about to expire. How can I make sure it is not lost during the suspension?

    Domain renewals are not affected by registrar suspensions.

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  7. What happens if a domain name is registered through a reseller of the suspended registrar?

    Your rights and obligations as the registered name holder (registrant) are not affected by a suspension. However, you should check the terms of your services agreement with the reseller to make sure you are aware of any additional terms that may affect you.

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  8. What will happen to the suspended registrar after the suspension period?

    1. If the registrar cures the breaches within the required timeframe, the suspension will end on the date specified in ICANN's notice of suspension to the registrar.
    2. If the registrar does not cure the breaches in a timely manner, ICANN may extend the suspension and eventually terminate the registrar's accreditation.

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  9. What happens if the suspended registrar's accreditation is eventually terminated by ICANN and how will registrants be affected?

    Please see FAQs for Non-Renewal of Registrar Accreditation Agreement

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  10. What support does ICANN need from registries to suspend a registrar?

    ICANN needs registries to implement blocking mechanisms to ensure that a suspended registrar is not able to create new Registered Names or initiate any inbound transfers of Register Names.

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  11. How will registries be informed of registrar suspensions?

    ICANN will send the relevant registries a copy of the notice of suspension immediately after issuing the notice to the registrar and prior to posting on the ICANN web site.

    ICANN will request that the relevant registries acknowledge receipt of the notice of suspension and confirm that blocking mechanisms will be implemented during the effective dates of the suspension.

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  12. How should registries respond to inquiries about a suspended registrar?

    Registries should direct inquirers to the suspension notice and the related FAQs published on ICANN's web site and, if appropriate, to the complaint system or email.

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  13. Should registries process auto-renewals for suspended registrars?

    Auto-renewals are not affected by suspension and thus can be processed under the normal course of business.

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  14. Will there be a standard execution time?

    Yes. The suspension execution time will be stated in the notice of suspension. For example: The registrar suspension is effective 17:00:00 (UTC/GMT) 15 February 2012 through 17:00:00 (UTC/GMC) 15 March 2012.

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  15. If a registrar cures all breaches referenced in ICANN's notice of suspension, will the suspension period be shortened?

    No. The suspension period referenced in the notice of suspension is fixed and will not be shortened.

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  16. Under what circumstances will ICANN consider extending the suspension period?

    The suspension period may be extended if: (1) the impacted registrar fails to cure all breaches and ICANN must proceed with RAA termination; or (2) it is determined that additional time will be provided to the registrar to cure all breaches.

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  17. How will registries know if a registrar suspension will be extended or lifted?

    ICANN will provide registries notice before the suspension is scheduled to end, whether the suspension will be extended or lifted.

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  18. How should registries report the status of a "suspended" registrar in their monthly reports to ICANN and what additional tracking information should be reflected in the monthly reports once a registrar comes off of suspension?

    At this time, no additional reporting or tracking concerning suspended registrars will be required in registry monthly reports.

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  19. Will ICANN indemnify a registry for actions taken in support of a registrar suspension?

    No. Complying with terms of suspension is no different than complying with a termination and considered as a Registry Service under section 3.1(d) the Registry Agreement.

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  20. Will suspended registrars be prohibited from complying with court orders pertaining to inbound transfers?

    A suspended registrar will not be prohibited from complying with an order from a court of competent jurisdiction ordering the inbound transfer of domain name.

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