Domain Registration

17.11.2020 | Law & Tax, Uncategorized

At the latest with the establishment of the enterprise the founder should secure a Domain, which is used later for the Web appearance.


So-called grabbers regularly search the commercial and trademark registers for new applications. If a new company, i.e. the name of a business, has not yet been registered as a domain, the grabber takes it over to sell it to the founder of the business for a lot of money. It is therefore advisable to register as soon as the company name is known. At the latest, it should be done before the registration in the public registers.


The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is responsible for the allocation and administration of top-level domains (TLD). This applies to both country-code top-level domains (ccTLDs) and generic top-level domains (gTLDs).

In practice, the following generic TLDs are of particular importance:

  • .biz (for company)
  • .com (abbreviation for „Commercial“)
  • .info (for Information services)
  • .name (for natural persons or families)
  • .net (for offers with Internet reference)
  • .org (for non-commercial organizations)
  • .pro (for certain professional groups such as lawyers, tax consultants, doctors, engineers)

The most important country-specific top-level domains are:

  • .at (Austria)
  • .ch (Switzerland)
  • .de (Germany)
  • .es (Spain)
  • .fr (France)
  • .jp (Japan)
  • .nl (Netherland)
  • .no (Norway)
  • .uk (United Kindom)
  • .ei (European Union)


The identifier “us” (for the USA) exists, but is hardly used in practice. The gTLD “.com” is usually used here. In addition, ccTLDs are often used, which are meaningful. This is especially true for “.ag” (Antigua) as an abbreviation for corporation and “.tv” (Tuvalu) as an abbreviation for television.

German domain

A German domain is registered with DENIC eG, which is centrally responsible for the assignment of domains under the top-level domain “.de” throughout Germany. DENIC eG has defined exactly what a domain name must look like [1].

  • A valid domain name consists of a maximum of 63 letters, numbers and the hyphen.
  • It begins and ends with a letter or a number.
  • One- and two-character domains, purely numeric domains as well as domains corresponding to vehicle registration numbers or other TLDs are permitted.
  • Umlauts and special characters are also allowed.
  • No distinction is made between upper and lower case letters.
  • A further own subdivision (“subdomains”) is possible. These are not set up by DENIC, but by the respective provider of the company or by the company itself.


Before registration, founders can use a “Whois query” to find out whether a domain is still available. Whois (“Who is”) is a protocol with which information on Internet domains and IP addresses and their owners can be obtained via a database system. Whois queries are offered by ICANN on the Internet ( For reasons of data protection, however, it is not possible to obtain information about the owners of .de domains. This is only possible directly from DENIC eG (

[1] Vgl. hierzu Hoeren: Internetrecht (10/2015)