So you’re a new business, and you’re interested in getting a trendy website up and running... What “domain names” are available? How do you get one?
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a non-profit organization that is responsible for the global coordination of the Internet’s unique identifiers. The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) is a department of ICANN, which is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the Domain Name System (DNS), including the root zone, top-level domains (e.g. “.com”). IANA provides a list of accredited domain name registries and links to their websites.
Here are some ICANN-approved, domain name registries that we recommend:
- For “.com” and “.net” domain names, visit Verisign.
- For “.ca” domain names, visit Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA).
What Steps Do You Need To Take?
- Search an ICANN-approved registry for the domain name that you are seeking.
- If your desired name is available, select it.
- Once you select your desired name, you are given a list of accredited domain name registrars, which will sell you the name.
- Go to one of these registrars’ websites, and pay for and register your domain name.
What Happens If Someone Has My Name?
ICANN provides a WHOIS Lookup service, which gives you the ability to look up any generic domains to find the registered owner. You can reach out to the owner and ask them to sell the domain name to you, if it does not appear to be in use.
If your favourite “.com” domain name is taken and purchasing the domain name is not an option (either you don’t have the funds to buy it or the owner doesn’t want to sell), then you can always consider opting for a country-code domain name (e.g. “.ca”) or one of the many generic, top-level domain names (gTLDs).
Keep in mind: some organizations purchase domain names, without any intention to use them, for the sole purpose of selling them at a later date – the more interested that you are, the higher the price of sale will become. ICANN is always adding new gTLDs. Consequently, they can provide a creative and cost-effective way around such situations.
Stay tuned for more information about gTLDs!