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Instructions for Completing the Registrar Accreditation Application

22 February 2012

This page was archived as of 5 February 2014. The current application can be found here.

Table of Contents

  1. Background Information
  2. Preparation and Required Information
  3. Submitting Your Application
  4. Schedule for Registrar Accreditation
  5. Submission of Confidential Materials
  6. Instructions for the Application Questions


These instructions are intended to assist applicants to complete their application forms. The instructions provide some additional guidance on each of the questions set forth on the Application. Questions should be sent to ICANN at

  1. Background Information:

    Several documents are available on the ICANN website that explain the Registrar Accreditation Program, ICANN's role in the registrar accreditation process, and the rights and obligations of accredited registrars. These documents should be read by all applicants for registrar accreditation before filling out a Registrar Accreditation Application. The documents can be found at the following links:

    • Governing Agreements and Policies

      These are agreements and policies govern a registrar's relationship with ICANN, the gTLD registry operators, registered name holders and the registrars' resellers.

    • Financial Consideration

      Listing of some of the costs registrar applicants should be prepared to pay in connection with becoming an ICANN-accredited registrar.

    • Registrar Accreditation Application

      This Application form must be completed and submitted, along with supporting documentation, to ICANN in order to be considered for ICANN registrar accreditation.

  2. Preparation and Required Information:

    In order for you to complete the Registrar Accreditation Application, you will need to do the following preparation:

    1. Collect your company's financial information, including bank statements or, if applicable, externally verified annual reports and insurance certificates;
    2. Collect your company's technical information, including current (or proposed) technical capabilities to provide domain name registration services, electronic backup of registration data from customers, security for all registration information, and continued domain name use for SLD holders in the event your company goes out of business or ceases to operate as an accredited registrar, and other current (or proposed) technical capabilities, as specified in the application;
    3. Be prepared to submit the application fee of US $3500.00.
  3. Submitting Your Application:

    All applications must be submitted in hard copy form. No e-mail applications will be accepted. A completed application includes the following materials:

    • Application form -- must be signed.
    • Answers to application questions, on separate paper, typed or printed, with each answer corresponding to each numbered question. If the answer to a question is available on an attached supporting document, please type "See_________" and provide a reference to the relevant document and page number.
    • All supporting documents, as specified by the application questions. These should each be labeled with an easily identifiable title and with page numbers, so that references to documentary information will be easy to find. Please attach all supporting documents to the back of your answer pages.
    • Application fee of US $3500.00. The application fee is payable by check, money order, or wire transfer and must accompany the application materials. The fee must be denominated in United States currency. Further information for submitting payments to ICANN is available on By default, no invoice is issued for the application fee. However if you need one, please contact

    Completed Applications must be sent by registered mail or courier to ICANN at the following address:

    Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
    Registrar Accreditation
    12025 Waterfront Drive, Suite 300
    Los Angeles, CA 90094-2536

    To facilitate processing, Applicants are encouraged to send an electronic copy of their applications and supporting documents to

  4. Schedule for Registrar Accreditation:

    ICANN is currently accepting completed applications for registrar accreditation on a rolling basis. There is no deadline for the submission of applications. Applicants should expect a response from ICANN within thirty days of ICANN's receipt of the completed Application. ICANN will contact Applicant directly if it requires additional information, supporting documents, or clarification of information provided by the Applicant.

  5. Submission of Confidential Materials:

    ICANN intends to conduct registrar accreditation in as open and transparent a manner as feasible. To that end, ICANN will be free to disclose and use information submitted in connection with an application in any manner and to anyone it deems appropriate. At the same time, however, ICANN recognizes that to encourage applicants to provide all documents and information relevant to accreditation, it is appropriate to afford applicants the opportunity to submit legitimate trade-secret information with a request for confidential handling by ICANN.

    Applicants are strongly encouraged to avoid, or at least to minimize, requests for confidential treatment of information submitted in connection with applications for accreditation. An applicant wishing to designate application material for confidential handling must include a separate, prominent notice to ICANN attached to the front of the application designating the specific information the applicant deems confidential, such as answers to particular questions or specific documents or portions of documents that should be handled confidentially by ICANN. The notice must state the restrictions on disclosure or use that the applicant requests for that information and explain why the applicant believes those restrictions are necessary to protect its legitimate trade secrets.

    Applications with requests for confidential handling will be reviewed for confidentiality by ICANN staff before further consideration. ICANN staff will promptly notify the applicant of the extent to which ICANN is willing to agree to treat the designated information confidentially, requesting a response from the applicant within two business days.

    In the event ICANN and the applicant do not agree on provisions for confidential treatment within two days, ICANN will, to the extent of the applicant's request for confidentiality, delete all confidential material submitted by the applicant in tangible, written form. The deleted information will then cease to be part of the applicant's application and will not be considered by ICANN staff in reviewing the application for registrar accreditation, nor will the deleted information be disclosed or otherwise used by ICANN.

  6. Instructions for the Application Questions:

    Questions 1 to 18: These general information questions are straightforward. Please provide current information. If the answer to any of the questions is not available, please indicate as much next to the number of the question on your application. Do not forget to attach the document requested in question #6. If the Applicant's company name is a transliteration or translation, please make sure that it exactly corresponds to the original company name stated on the supported document requested in question #6.

    Question 19 & 21: You must determine whether any of the officers, directors, managers, or the entities or persons owning five percent or more of the Applicant falls into the categories listed. Please provide details whenever it does.

    Question 20: You must indicate if the Applicant and/or any of the people or entities listed on the application has a controlling interest on one or more ICANN accredited registrars. If applicable, please list the concerned persons and entities, the registrars to which they have a controlling interest and explain the connection between them.

    Question 22: You must indicate all URL and/or domain names the Applicant uses or intends to use for conducting its services. Please note that only one URL will be listed in the registrar list on and Should the application be approved, you will receive a contact form where you will have to indicate which URL should be listed.

    Question 23: You may either submit information about your existing business capabilities, or you may submit a comprehensive business plan that includes information responsive to the Application questions.

    Question 24: If the Applicant already provides registration of gTLD domain names as a reseller of 1 or more ICANN accredited registrars, we will ask the Applicant how it intends to handle the domain names registered via its reseller account(s). Should it intend to transfer them into its future accreditation, should it obtain it, it will have to confirm that it will comply with Part A of the Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy.

    Questions 25 & 26: ICANN intends for domain name registrants to receive prompt service for all their registration needs. To achieve this, Applicants must have sufficient staff that are qualified to handle registrar obligations. Note that a combination of full-time and part-time employees may be sufficient if it will provide adequate service to customers. Likewise, fewer than five employees may be adequate if you can show that it will be sufficient in your circumstances.

    Questions 27 to 37: Please provide answers that are as complete as possible at the present time. Also indicate any expected developments or events that may in the near future affect the answers to these questions. As per Section 1 of the application Terms and Conditions, you are requested to provide true, accurate and complete information. Therefore you should not leave out information that you believe may negatively impact your application -- ICANN retains the right to investigate and verify the information provided. ICANN's accreditation guidelines do not set high threshold requirements for registrars' business capabilities and operations. ICANN must, however, be assured that all accredited registrars can efficiently, accurately, and securely handle their registration obligations without adversely impacting the operation of the Internet. ICANN does not seek to accredit only the top few Applicants, but to accredit all Applicants that can meet the minimum operational criteria to reliably provide competitive registration services.

    Questions 38 & 39: These questions only apply to Applicants that have entered or intend to enter into agreements with at least a reseller of registrar services. Please indicate if you haven't entered and don't intend to enter into any reseller agreement.

    Question 40: Describe any security measures you currently implement, along with a detailed description of your proposed security system. Have you had any experience creating network, database, or other such security systems?

    Questions 41 to 46: These are questions designed to assess whether your current technical capabilities can accommodate all of the archival, WhoIs-type informational and database requirements and data escrow requirements for registrars. Please detail how your current (or proposed) business would establish and support such capabilities. Do you have the technical expertise to create and run a Whois-type public access database service? Can you create and maintain the necessary electronic databases and provide daily backup, archives and data escrow of them?

    Questions 47 to 50: Please be as detailed as possible describing what technical capabilities you have (or propose or have) that will assure registrants continuity no matter what happens to your business. ICANN considers this element of registrar obligations to be vital to the stability of the Internet. It is also a vital competitive threshold for registrars. If possible, describe how you would transfer registration data to other registrars, and how promptly such a transfer would be achieved, in the event of a business failure.

    Question 51: Note that USD 70,000 of liquid capital (or the equivalent in the Applicant's local currency) will be deemed sufficient at the commencement of the accreditation period. Proof of working capital may include a bank statement showing a sufficient level of liquid capital immediately available in the Applicant's name, a certificate of a guaranteed bank loan, or a certificate of a letter of credit, all from a recognized financial institution. If you have an existing registrar business or propose to convert your existing domain-name reseller business into a registrar business, you must send, with this Application, a recent and independently verified financial statement (such as an accountant's audit), which shows that you have adequate working capital devoted to your business.

    Question 52: Note that a policy limit of at least USD 500,000 (or equivalent in the Applicant's local currency) will be deemed sufficient. Please attach your insurance certificate if you currently have Commercial General Liability insurance. If you do not currently have such insurance, you do not have to include a certificate of insurance with this Application. Instead, ICANN requires only that you enclose an insurance proposal from a recognized insurer. In this situation, a certificate of coverage would be necessary as a condition to accreditation becoming effective.

    Question 53: By answering yes to this question, you confirm on behalf of the Applicant that you have read and understood the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) and that Applicant will fully comply with it. If there is any provision that Applicant may not be able to fulfill, you should explain in details which section(s) and what prevents Applicant from fulfilling it (them).

    Question 54: If the Applicant is seeking the transfer of an existing registrar's accreditation in its favor, a Transfer of Accreditation Form duly completed and signed by a legal representative of the registrar transferring its accreditation should be attached to the application. Please note that ICANN may reject the application if the concerned registrar is not fulfilling its registrar obligations or put the application on hold until the registrar has settled its compliance issues. The approval of a transfer of accreditation application will open a 2 weeks notice during which the registrants may transfer out their domain names. In this situation, the Applicant must provide ICANN with a copy of the notice to the registrants and a statement that the same notice was sent to the registrants.


    Terms and Conditions and Signature

    These are the Terms and Conditions that governs the accreditation process. By signing the application form, you agree that you have read and understood these Terms and Conditions and that you fully agree to abide by them.

Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."