Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers

Registrar Accreditation: Financial Considerations

Before you undertake the registrar accreditation process, please read and consider the following costs to you. This is not an exhaustive list of all costs involved in becoming an accredited registrar, but is meant only as a helpful listing of some of the costs registrar applicants should be prepared to pay in connection with becoming an ICANN-accredited registrar.

What you will pay to ICANN:

  • US$3,500 non-refundable application fee, to be submitted with application.
  • US$4,000 yearly accreditation fee due upon approval and each year thereafter.
  • Variable fee (quarterly) billed once you begin registering domain names or, the first full quarter following your accreditation approval, whichever occurs first. This fee represents a portion of ICANN's operating costs and, because it is divided among all registrars, the amount varies from quarter to quarter.
  • Transaction-based gTLD fee (quarterly). This fee is a flat fee charged for each new registration, renewal or transfer. This fee can be billed by the registrar separately on its invoice to the registrant, but is paid by the registrar to ICANN.
  • Please refer to http://www.icann.org/general/financial.html for the most recent ICANN budget to find additional details about the quarterly variable and transaction-based fees, including possible options for relief.
  • Please refer to http://www.icann.org/financials/payments.htm for instructions on how to submit payments to ICANN.

Other financial considerations:

Working Capital: The applicant must demonstrate that it has adequate working capital (in the form of cash or credit) available for the operation of the registrar business, given the registration volume reasonably projected by the applicant. Applicants seeking initial accreditation must demonstrate the ability to procure liquid capital immediately available in the applicant's name at the commencement of the accreditation period in an amount of US$70,000 or more before the ICANN accreditation becomes effective. Evidence of independent verification of the capital (such as by guaranteed bank loan or by a guaranteed credit line or letter of credit from a recognized financial institution) need not accompany the application, but must be presented as a condition of the accreditation becoming effective.

Applicants with existing registrar businesses, or proposing to convert their existing domain-name reseller businesses to registrar businesses, must provide with the application an independently verified financial statement (such as by an accountant’s audit) demonstrating the amount of working capital available for the registrar business.

Commercial General Liability: The applicant must either have or demonstrate the ability to obtain commercial general liability insurance which must be maintained in force throughout the accreditation period in an amount sufficient, given the registration volume reasonably projected by applicant, to provide domain-name holders reasonable compensation for losses caused by the applicant's wrongful covered acts. A policy limit in the amount of US$500,000 or more will be deemed sufficient to meet this requirement. A certificate of insurance need not accompany the application, but must be presented as a condition of the accreditation becoming effective.

What you will pay to Registry Operators:

There are additional financial considerations for registrars to do business with gTLD registries. Please refer to each registry operator’s website or contact the registry operator directly for details. A complete listing can be found at http://www.icann.org/registries/listing.html.

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