ccTLDs - Become a Registrar

John McCormac jmcc at
Fri Dec 1 20:31:40 CST 2017

On 01/12/2017 18:24, Ryan Finnesey wrote:
> I was wonder if anyone within the group has done this research and might be able to save me a bit of time.  I am in the process of putting together a new Registrar and we would like complete ccTLD coverage.  I know for example CIRA (.ca)  has a Canadian Presence Requirement and we have formed a Canadian Corporation to meet this requirement.
> I am hoping to find what other TLD operators may have similar requirements.

Some have due diligence checks for finance and trade references. 
However, covering all ccTLDs may not be feasible as some of the smaller 
ones (<10K registrations) may still use manual processing of applications.

 From what I remember, some of the EU registries may have liberalised 
and a point of presence company/corporation within the EU or even a 
US/Canadian company might be sufficient.

The real issue with ccTLDs for end users will be sorting out the 
requirements for registration. Some ccTLDs like .UK or .ME may have 
relatively liberal/open registration requirements for their most popular 
subdomains (e.g .CO.UK) but have, in the case of .UK, different 
requirements for registering at .UK level. The .EU nominally requires 
registrants to be within or connected to the EU or European Economic 
Area. The .DE ccTLD requires a German point of contact for registrations 
but that might be handled by forming a local company.

The main ccTLDs for any new registar venture would be the ones with a 
liberal registration policy. The more restrictive ones might require a 
lot more handholding and paperwork for the registrants and unless your 
new registrar venture is concentrating on brand protection 
registrations, it might be best to steer clear of these initially.

Most ccTLD markets are heavily dominated by in-country registrars and 
they can be quite difficult for a foreign registrar to gain market 
share. They also have very different dynamics to the legacy TLDs like 
COM/NET/ORG and the gTLDs. The one year renewal rates for some of them 
can be 70% or higher. Web usage also tends to be higher for some ccTLDs 
so a registrant buying a domain name/hosting package is somewhat more 
likely to use that hosting. In a ccTLDs Web Usage Survey I ran last 
month, the Content/No Content rate (the totals of (domain names with 
developed content) / (domain names on holding 
pages/PPC/sales/unavailable/no website) ) for .DE ccTLD was 0.92, .ES 
was 0.48, .EU was 0.37, .FR was 0.58, .UK was 0.39 and .US was 0.13. 
These are based on random 110,000 domain name samples. It is simpler to 
express this as a kind of development rate as the surveys have 
approximately 28 categories of usage. The development rate excludes 
redirects as it is a simple content related metric.

In some markets, the local ccTLD dominates the market and the 
COM/NET/ORG and gTLDs have gone legacy. The main TLD pair for most 
developed markets will be the ccTLD/COM. The NET and ORG generally tend 
to be legacy TLDs rather than attracting high volumes of new 
registrations in these countries. While you may not be concentrating on 
the new gTLDs, if you are targeting markets with a strong ccTLD, also 
consider the new gTLD geo TLD if it is applicable. (.IRISH for Ireland, 
.LONDON, .SCOT, .CYMRU, .WALES for the UK, .BERLIN, .RUHR etc for 
Germany, .RIO for Brazil, .NYC, .VEGAS, .MIAMI for the US etc.) Many of 
these are early stage TLDs (low registration volume and relatively low 
use but that's typical for new gTLDs as some of these seem to be 
following a ccTLD development curve rather than a gTLD development 
curve) but they tend to be different from less precisely targeted new gTLDs.

John McCormac  *  e-mail: jmcc at
MC2            *  web:
22 Viewmount   *  Domain Registrations Statistics
Waterford      *  And Historical DNS Database.
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