A domain name is a text name which is used as a convenient way of finding your way around the Internet. It is part of a system called Domain Name Service (DNS) which provides you with an easy-to-remember address. The DNS actually converts the domain name (e.g. toucanweb.co.uk) into an Internet Protocol (IP) number (e.g.188.8.131.52) and vice versa.
Registering a domain name on the Internet is the equivalent of registering a company name at Companies House. Once registered, no-one else can use that name. As there are many companies with similar names, it is important to register a suitable domain name for your company as soon as possible.
Registering a suitable domain name is advisable to ensure your clients can easily remember the address of information you provide on the Internet. As an example take the ficticious company named "firefly", their domain name would likely be firefly.co.uk, their web site http://www.firefly.co.uk and their email addresses are of the form email@example.com. Using appropriate domain names makes it easy for people to find you on the Internet.
Once registered and as long as the owner pays for the NIC annual administration fees the domain name can be hosted free of charge on the Toucan Internet LLP server until the name is used for either e-mail or a web site.
The variety lies in the country designation of the name (ie.fr,.uk,.com,.de etc) and in many cases, especially with the UK domain names, the status of that name is shown (ie. .co,.ltd,.plc etc). For example the address yourcompany.ltd.uk shows the following (working from right to left):
.uk - Location is assumed as United Kingdom.
.ltd - The name shows a registered UK Ltd Name.
yourcompany - The company, trading or personal name
Different countries have different rules. See notes below for information on registering in the UK.
Toucan Internet LLP uses the UK's largest and longest established domain registrar. To register a domain name through us, simply complete the form.
Contact us for details of individual products and special deals on the most popular bundled services.
The Domain Name you register belongs to you. We will transfer the name to any Service Provider you nominate at your request and at no extra charge. However, Toucan Internet LLP is able to offer extensive services at extremely good prices and is our intention to persuade you to keep the name on our server.
Many names have already been registered. You can use our search page to check if your preferred name is still available.
As soon as the Domain Name has been cleared by NOMINET it is "delegated" the DNS server used by Toucan Internet LLP. This is a technical procedure which transfers the name to our servers, where it can remain indefinitely at no extra cost. Once we have received confirmation of delegation you will receive:
Once the name is held on the Toucan Internet LLP's server you are able to use the other facilities which we offer. Storage of the name is indefinite so that you are able to set up further facilities in your own time.
Re-delegation. The Domain name is held on the Toucan Internet LLP's server but is ultimately the property of the applicant. The owner / applicant is quite at liberty to move the name from Toucan Internet LLP, however we trust that the services and support we offer will be more than sufficient to encourage you to stay with us. Please ask for a DNS change form.
Pointing the Name. Toucan Internet LLP is able to point a DNS at another virtual server, so if you require <firstname.lastname@example.org> and <yourname.com> to go to your virtual server, this is quite possible.
The org.uk domain is intended to be a domain for those organisations which do not satisfactorily 'fit' into any of the other sub-domains of UK. This includes:
Rules for org.uk domain names are:
The .ac.uk domain is used by organisations providing education at tertiary level and above along with organisations historically associated with higher education such as the Research Councils.
Rules for .ac.uk domains:
The .gov.uk domain is used by all UK government departments (except Defence), local government bodies and associated government funded organisations. The usual rules about approval apply with the added exception that the SOA and/or its advisors may reject an application.
Registration is limited to:
Naming Administration for schools.
Schools are registered using a third-level sub domain as there will be numerous cases of schools having the same name. The method used within England and Wales is to use the local education authority area as the sub domain name. For example:
(School name).(Local Education Authority). sch.uk
Scotland is undergoing a reorganisation and at present a mixture of the region names and the new local authority names is being used. In Northern Ireland it is proposed to use the names of the counties and county boroughs.
The .mod.uk domain is used by all Ministry of Defence establishments. Applications for names are approved by DRA Malvern acting on behalf of MOD. It should be noted that this domain has not been delegated.
The .nhs.uk domain is provided for National Health Service organisations.
National Health Service.
This is sub-domain according to the following list. Individual organisations will sit at the 4th level.
South and West Region
South Thames Region
North Thames Region
Anglia and Oxford Region
West Midlands Region
North and Yorkshire Region
North West and Mersey Region
NHS in Wales
NHS in Scotland
NHS in Northern Ireland
National Blood Service
Dental Practice Board
NHS Central Register
NHS Clearing Service
NHS Central Communications Management Group
The <.net.uk> domain is provided as an alternative to registering in the .net domain.
This domain is intended to hold only the computers of network providers, that is the NIC and NOC computers, the administrative computers, and the network node computers. The customers of the network provider would have domain names of their own (not in the NET TLD).
The same rules will be applied to requests to register in .NET.UK. This means customer email address should not appear in any <.net.uk> sub-domain.
The purpose of this document is to describe the rules for the allocation of names within the domains ltd.uk and plc.uk.
The ltd.uk and plc.uk domains are intended to allow a unique mapping between company names registered under the Companies Act with Company's House and a DNS name. Although it was envisaged by the Naming Committee that only ltd.uk was required, Nominet UK's legal advisors have said that a public limited company registering within ltd.uk would be committing a criminal offence. Therefore the additional plc.uk is required.
Note: Within these rules all references to ltd.uk should be taken to apply equally to plc.uk.
Note: Unlimited companies registered under the Companies Act, unincorporated bodies, partnerships and bodies incorporated under other legislation are not eligible for an entry in ltd.uk or plc.uk.
The only characters from a registered company name allowed in a DNS name are the letters A to Z, a to z, the numbers 0 to 9 and hyphen. These will be known as the "allowable" set.
Certain words will be removed from the registered company name before the DNS name is generated, these are known as the "reserved" words. They are "limited", "public limited company" and the Welsh Language versions along with the abbreviations of these words, e.g. ltd, plc, ccc. There are believed to be other "reserved" words such as "International".
Note: It is believed that these rules represent the way that Company's House interpret names in order to produce a unique match. In the event that they do not and/or that Company's House rules change in the future, the first successful applicant for a name will be assigned the name.
There is the possibility that applications will contain characters that are treated as significant and are not in the "allowable" set.
This version of the rules will not allow these applications to be allocated a name.
It is envisaged that applications will be made using an automated procedure. The requester of the name will be responsible for acquiring proof of incorporation. The application must state the full name of the company as registered along with the company registration number. The automated procedure shall determine the form of the DNS name and shall delegate the name as soon as possible after application and at worst within 3 working days. Toucan Internet LLP reserves the right to check a sample or all of the requests for accuracy (before or after delegation) and, pending resolution, may remove a registration, if the rules have been violated.
com is derived from "commercial" is one of the original generic top-level domains (gTLD) within the Domain Name System of the Internet. A .com domain is available to anyone.
net is derived from "network" is a generic top-level domain (gTLD) used on the Internet's Domain Name System. net is one of the original top-level domains with com. It was initially intended to be used only for network providers, such as Internet service providers, however, there are no formal restrictions on who can register a net domain name. Therefore, while still popular with network operators, it is often treated as a second com. As of 2008, it is the fourth most popular top-level domain, after com, cn, and de.
biz is a generic top-level domain (gTLD) in the Domain Name System of the Internet. It is intended for registration of domains to be used by businesses. The name is a phonetic spelling of the first syllable of business. The biz TLD was created to relieve some of the demand for domain names in the com top-level domain, and to provide an alternative for businesses whose preferred domain name in com had already been registered by another party. There are no specific legal or geographic qualifications to register a biz domain name, except that it must be for "bona fide business or commercial use"
.tel is a top-level domain operated by Telnic. the purpose of a .tel is for it to act as a single management and publishing point for "internet communication" services, providing a global contacts directory service by housing all types of contact information directly in the Domain Name System (DNS). When viewed over the Web, all .tel domains point directly to a Telnic proxy webpage that is populated 'on the fly' presenting the respective domain name owner's contact data stored within the DNS system (currently hosted by Telnic but which will be opened to Registrars and end customers in 2009). .tel domains can also be accessed without opening a browser on many devices through open source applications or through direct DNS lookups.
.mobi is a top-level domain (TLD) managed by the mTLD global registry. It is dedicated to delivering the Internet to mobile devices via the Mobile Web.