Domain names are now an absolutely essential tool for the entrepreneur who wants to work in the digital world.
What is a domain name?
A domain name is the "translation" of alphanumeric characters of an IP address (Internet Protocol consisting of 4 sets of numbers), which is understood by Internet routers. This translation allows an Internet user to locate a web page or an email without having to remember a series of 4 numbers (IP).
What are the different types of domain names?
- Generic domains.
Generic domains were created by ICANN (the organization that manages domain names worldwide) for the use of the Internet audience and are as follows:
.com (originally for commercial enterprises)
.org (initially for non-profit organizations)
.net (originally for Internet companies)
These three domains are restricted
.edu (exclusively for U.S. educational institutions)
.gov (exclusively for U.S. government institutions)
.thousand (exclusively for U.S. military institutions)
.int (limited to entities within the International Telecommunication Union)
And since 2000,
.biz (for commercial purposes)
.info (for informational purposes)
.name (for personal names)
.aero (specifically for the world of aviation)
.museum (for museums only)
.pro (for professionals only)
.coop (for cooperatives only)
- Country code domains
Country code domains were created to be used by each country. They are: (.es, .uk, .us, .de, etc.). Country code domains are used by organizations and companies that want to establish themselves on the Internet or who want to protect the identity of their brand or business name in a particular country. Territorial domains have two letters, for example, .es for Spain, .fr for France, etc. There are approximately 230 territorial domains. In Spain, the competent authority to manage the country code domain ".es" is ESNIC, a department of the Public Enterprise Body, Red.es.
- A domain name is first level (.com), second level (jdnunez.com), or third level (marcas.jdnunez.com).
What are the requirements to register a domain name?
For generic domains (.com, .org, .net, .biz, .info) administrative rules are minimal.
The name should be free and should consist of only English script letters and numbers. Any other characters, including spaces, underscores, dashes and semicolons are invalid. Also, the domain cannot begin or end with a hyphen or dash. The maximum name length is 22 characters and the minimum is two.
Territorial domains are regulated based on specific rules for each country. Those involved in creating these rules for registration are the NIC delegates of each country.
In Spain the administrative rules for registration are relatively restrictive:
- The domain must register an organization that legally exists in Spain: public administrations, professional associations, political parties, unions, associations registered as such, foundations, universities, religious entities, corporations (public or private limited companies), civil societies and community property.
- Individuals cannot register a domain (not even if registered self-employed) nor can departments or divisions of companies. Each body can register only one domain. That is, a company cannot have two domains registered (in the case of publishers, it is possible to have a different domain for each of the newspapers it publishes).
- The minimum length of the domain name is 3 characters and a maximum 63.
- Domains must not coincide with a high level domain (com, mil, gov, org, int, net, edu) or generic Internet names (tcp, web, http, router, etc.), proper nouns, place names and generic names of products, services, etc. (rioja.es, yogourt.es, leon.es, liebre.es, garcia.es, etc.). Domain names contrary to law or public order, or that are offensive or profane, are also forbidden.
- The name must have a direct association with the registering company’s name or a registered trademark in the Patent and Trademark Office.