Instructions for Completing the Registrar Accreditation Application
19 September 2018
On 17 May 2018 the ICANN Board adopted a Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data. This page is under review and will be updated to address the Temporary Specification.
Table of Contents
- Background Information
- Preparation and Required Information
- Submitting Your Application
- Schedule for Registrar Accreditation
- Submission of Confidential Materials
- Instructions for the Application Questions
These instructions are intended to assist applicants in completing their application forms. The instructions provide some additional guidance on each of the questions set forth in the application. Questions should be sent to ICANN at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. All applicants should review and understand these documents before filling out a Registrar Accreditation Application. The documents can be found at the following links:
Governing Agreements and Policies
- These agreements and policies govern a registrar's relationship with ICANN, the gTLD registry operators, registered name holders and any registrars' resellers.
- 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.
- Governing Agreements and Policies
Preparation and Required Information:
Completing the Registrar Accreditation Application will require the following preparation:
- Collect your company's financial information, including externally verified annual reports.
- Collect your company's operational and 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,
- plans to enable continued domain name use for domain name registrants in the event your company goes out of business or ceases to operate as an accredited registrar, and
- other current (or proposed) operational and technical capabilities, as specified in the application;
- Be prepared to submit the application fee of US $3500.00 when prompted by ICANN Finance.
Submitting Your Application:
Applications may be submitted via email or in hard copy form. A completed application includes the following materials:
- Completed and signed application form:
- Digital signatures are acceptable.
- Each question must be answered, 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:
- Each document should 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.
Completed applications may be sent via email to: email@example.com or by registered mail or courier to ICANN at the following address:
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
12025 Waterfront Drive, Suite 300
Los Angeles, CA 90094-2536
- Completed and signed application form:
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 an applicant directly if it requires additional information, supporting documents, or clarification of information provided by the applicant.
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.
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 labeled 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.
Instructions for the Application Questions:
Questions 1 to 14: These general information questions are straightforward. Please provide current information. If the answer to any of the questions is not applicable, please indicate this next to the number of the question on your application.
Question 4 (additional instructions):: Make sure to attach the documents requested in question 4. 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 supporting document requested in question 4.
Question 8 (additional instructions): You must determine whether any of the officers, directors, managers, or the entities or persons owning five percent or more of the applicant fall into the categories listed. Please provide details whenever it does.
Question 13 (additional instructions): You must indicate if the applicant and/or any of the people or entities listed on the application have or previously had a controlling interest in one or more ICANN accredited registrars, registry operators or back-end registry operators. If applicable, please list the concerned persons and entities, the registrar(s), registry operator(s) or back-end registry operator(s) in which they have a controlling interest and explain the connections between them.
Question 15-20: 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 17 & 18 (additional instructions): If the applicant already provides registration of gTLD domain names as a reseller of one 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.
Question 19 (additional instructions): 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 21 to 23 Please provide answers that are as complete as possible at the present time. Also indicate any expected developments or events in the near future that may affect the answers to these questions. As per Section 1 of the application Terms and Conditions, you are expected 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 operational criteria to reliably provide competitive registration services. If available, please attach a copy of the Registration Agreement your company currently uses or intends to use.
Question 21a (additional instructions): You must indicate all URLs 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 http://www.icann.org/ and http://www.internic.net/. Should the application be approved, you will receive a contact form to indicate which URL should be listed.
Question 24: 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?
Question 25: Please be as detailed as possible describing the 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.. If possible, describe how you would transfer registration data to one or more other registrars, and how promptly such a transfer would be achieved, in the event of a business failure.
Questions 26 to 31: 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, including the technical expertise to create and run a Whois- public access database service, and to create and maintain the necessary electronic databases and provide daily backup, archives and data escrow deposits.
Questions 32 & 33: These questions only apply to applicants that have entered or intend to enter into agreements with at least one reseller of registrar services. Please indicate if you haven't entered and don't intend to enter into any reseller agreement. If available, please attach a copy of the Reseller Agreement your company currently uses or intends to use.
Question 34: Sections 3.16, 3.17 and 3.18 of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement as well as the Registrar Information Specification to the agreement require each registrar to publish specified information on its website, including a link to a web page maintained by ICANN with registrant educational information, the registrar's contact, business and officer information and information about abuse claims handling. Please indicate where the applicant has listed or will list this information on the website(s) it uses or will use in connection with its registrar business.
Question 35-41: These questions are to demonstrate that you have read and understood the requirements listed in the RAA and ICANN consensus policy. Please read through the policies and RAA requirements and answer these questions.
Question 42: 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).
Financial Obligations: 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 certificate of a guaranteed bank loan, a certificate of a letter of credit from a recognized financial institution, or an audited financial statement. If you have an established business, 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.
In cases where an applicant cannot demonstrate that it has access to at least $70,000 in liquid working capital, the applicant must demonstrate that it has sufficient resources available to meet its business needs in addition to adequate cash reserves, and that its business model does not require US$70,000 in liquid working capital for day-to-day operations.
Factors that may demonstrate this include:
- verifiable and reliable cash flow that is sufficient to maintain ongoing operations; or
- the registrar is an Affiliate (as defined in RAA) of an existing, sufficiently capitalized registrar;
- the registrar's projected registration volume warrants lesser capitalization;
- the registrar's operating costs are projected to be demonstrably less than industry norms, or identifiable circumstances will result in more predictable and stable operating costs;
- reduced projected registrar start-up costs due to current operation of a registrar or reseller business;
- other factors in furtherance of ICANN's underserved regions initiative, such as targeting domain name registration services to an underserved market region where costs might be lower.
Transfer of Registrar Accreditation: The procedure to follow for transferring an ICANN accreditation depends on the affiliation that may exist between the Transferor and the Transferee. Please see http://www.icann.org/en/resources/registrars/updates/transferring to determine what procedure you need to follow and which documents you should submit to ICANN. If the applicant is submitting an application for taking over an existing registrar accreditation, 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 week 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. Upon approval by ICANN, the Transferee will enter into the RAA version in effect at the time of the transfer.
Terms and Conditions and Signature
These are the Terms and Conditions that govern 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.