If you have a company and want to make it easier for your customers to find information about your business on the Internet, you can create a website.
You can access a website at its unique Internet Protocol (IP) address, a series of digits such as 18.104.22.168 or 22.214.171.124.
You will however also want a user-friendly, readable and memorisable domain name such as europarl.europa.eu or consilium.europa.eu
The domain name will be linked to the IP address; this way, when you type into a browser europarl.europa.eu you will be redirected to the IP address 126.96.36.199.
With a domain name registration, you acquire the right to use the domain name. The registration does not guarantee any special protection as intellectual property. However, if a domain name is similar to a trade mark name, this could create IP infringement issues.
How to register a domain name
If the name you want is available, you can register a domain name through an accredited registrar which offers the top-level extension you are looking for. There is a wide choice of extensions to choose from including country-specific or generic extensions:
- Generic top-level extensions: .com, .shop, .hotel
- Country-specific top-level extensions: .fr, .de
Depending on the type of extension you choose, eligibility criteria or rules may differ. After you choose the domain name and the top-level extension, you must pay a registration fee. The amount of money you have to pay depends on:
- how long you are registering the domain name for
- the associated services you choose, such as webhosting
If you own a business in any EU country you can also apply for the .eu top-level domain (TLD). You can check the availability of .eu domains on EURid.