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FAQ's about Domains

  1. What is a domain name?
  2. What suffixes are available?
  3. How long does a registration take?
  4. What stops someone else using my name?
  5. What rules are there for these names?
  6. What is e-mail forwarding?
  7. What is web forwarding?
  8. What is the no-frills website service?
  9. What are your prices?
  10. What ongoing charges are there?
  11. Why use us?
  12. Ordering Procedures?
  13. List of all territories and suffixes?

We trust that the above information is of use to you, and look forward to being of service to you in the future. However, if you should have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact us.







1. What is a domain name?

Technically, a Domain Name is a way of giving a human-friendly name to a computer's location on the Internet. More importantly, a Domain Name is your identity on the Internet. A Domain Name is primarily used in www access (the Web, e.g. www.yourname.co.uk) and electronic mail (e-mail, e.g. peter@yourname.co.uk).

If you have invested a lot of time and money in your company name, trading names, and trademarks/products, then someone else using those names on the Internet could be potentially disastrous as well as embarrassing.

Domain Names are normally allocated on a first-come-first-served basis, and if someone else registers your name, it may be almost impossible to get it back; you would certainly have to show that the owner of the name was guilty of "passing off" or that he had no legitimate use for the name, and if youcommenced trading at the same time as someone else registered the domain name then that is likely to be virtually impossible. Even when it is possible, it can sometimes be costly; a dispute over a name will normally have to be resolved by legal action in the country where the registry is based, or through arbitration when the local registry has such a facility. If you want to see how a speculator operates, go and look at www.british-rail.co.uk In this instance, the speculator's argument is that his use of the name is legitimate in that he is providing a service relating to rail in Britain.

As you may be aware, domain names are being sold fast (10,000 per DAY worldwide), and speed is vital to make sure you get the domain names which you might need in the future; the best names are already long gone. Speculators are watching Companies House incorporation information, and often buying domain names as soon as a company is formed - so within a week of forming your company it could be too late for you to get the domain name you want without having to pay a speculator for the privilege. And with more and more business transactions being done electronically, even if you have no aspirations to being involved in e-commerce simply having a memorable e-mail address can give a favourable impression of the business to potential customers.

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2. What domain suffixes are there?

The main suffixes are as follows:

.com - carries with it a global appeal, and can also be looked for by the latest Web browsers (Internet Explorer 5.0 and Netscape Navigator 3.0 for instance automatically look for .com when just a name is typed in at its address line), and on search engines. A .com gives "international" status, and no obvious indication as to where the company is based. However, most good .com names have already been registered.

.co.uk - is the usual option if your client trades mainly in the UK. It indicates that the company is UK based.

.org - is the usual choice for non-profit-making organisations, and again carries a global appeal.

.org.uk - is an additional choice if your client is based in the UK.

.net - was originally intended for network providers although it has become a popular choice for those companies who cannot register the .com of their choice, or require more "all round" protection.

.net.uk - is strictly for network providers based in the UK and proof of this will be required by Nominet, the official Registry for all UK names.

.ltd.uk - is an option for those companies based in the UK that are registered Limited companies. Proof in the form of a copy of the original Companies House Certificate of Incorporation will be required.

.plc.uk - same rules as for ltd.uk - company must be a plc.

.uk.com - is a .com domain being used to offer an alternative for UK registrations if the .com or .co.uk name originally required is not available.

.edu - represents 4 year degree awarding educational bodies (normally US based)

.ac.uk - is for UK further education establishments.

Note: Registering a .co.uk will not automatically stop someone else registering the same name with any other suffix, e.g. .com, and vice versa. If you want to protect your name, you should register it wherever you trade. Each country in the world has its own country code suffix; .fr for France, .de for Germany etc. It is very important that you understands this, and that you seriously consider registering in any country where you trade, as well as considering the "high risk" countries where anyone can register a domain name (set out at the end of this document).

There are seven new domains recently proposed by the IAHC (International Ad Hoc Committee) .firm, .store, .web, .arts, .info, .rec and .nom. These domains are currently under review by the US Government. Please contact us for more information on these names.

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3. How long does a registration take?

This can vary from country to country and can take anything from a matter of hours to many weeks. For UK names, such as .co.uk, .org.uk, etc. registration will normally be the day after you place the order with us; it usually takes a further day for e-mail and web forwarding to be put in place. The International .com Domain Name can take up to three days, although this is usually also a next-day service. Other overseas names will often take longer, due to the fact that some local registries have only basic technical and administrative facilities, although this will inevitably change in the future. We will always endeavour to complete registrations as soon as possible.

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4. What stops someone else using my name?

Every registration which we do is registered in that country's central registry (this is the internet equivilent of Companies House). This registry has a unique database, and once your Domain Name is stored there, is it impossible for anyone to get the same name. It is also virtually impossible for someone to change the details which have have entered in the registry, as the main registries require an encrypted e-mail before they will make changes.

However, the fact that you have registered, for instance, yourname.co.uk does not stop someone else from registering your-name.co.uk, yourname.com, yourname.net, etc.. It may well be the case that you are not looking to get into e-commerce and are quite happy to just have the relevant .co.uk domain. However, if you are looking to protect your interests on the internet then you may well need to consider registering a "package" of domain names to cover all the different territories in which you may want to operate in the future, possible variations in spelling of the name, etc.. If you are interested in doing this we can give special prices for such packages - please contact us for more information. A full list of all territories and domain name suffixes is at the end of this page.

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5. What rules are there for these names?

In general, your name can consist of only letters (a to z), numbers (0 to 9) and hyphens (-). Other characters are not allowed for technical reasons. The name cannot start or end with a hyphen and there is a maximum length of 63 characters for .co.uk, although we advise that you should try to make it less than 15 characters for ease of use. .com names are limited to a maximum of 22 characters.

Each country also has its own rules, and we can let you have details of these if you are looking to register a domain name in any of these territories. For a .com or a .co.uk name, there are few rules, the name can be anything you want and they are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

A special category of names have been set up in the U.K. to afford protection for companies from speculators; .ltd.uk and .plc.uk. These domain names can only be registered to a limited company having EXACTLY the same name (e.g. Bloggs Trading Ltd could register bloggstrading.ltd.uk but could not register bloggstrade.ltd.uk); a photocopy of the company's Certificate of Incorporation will be required.

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6. What is e-mail forwarding?

e-mail forwarding works in an analogous way to Post Office mail redirection; an e-mail addressed to peter@yourname.co.uk is redirected to your actual e-mail address, eg. peter@smith79.freeserve.co.uk. Unlike Post Office redirection, however, the service is totally transparent in that the person sending the e-mail does not know it has been redirected and the e-mail does not get changed at all in the process; and the redirection is virtually instantaneous, so there is no delay in receiving the e-mail. The only thing which youwill need to do is change your e-mail program so it shows your new e-mail address on outgoing e-mails; in Outlook Express, for instance, you simply go into Tools / Accounts / Properties, and change the e-mail address which is shown under "User Properties".

There are two possible ways for e-mail forwarding to be set up:

Mail sent to any name at the domain is forwarded to a single e-mail address. Therefore mail to pete@yourname.co.uk, joebloggs@yourname.co.uk, sales@yourname.co.uk, etc. would all be forwarded to a single e-mail account e.g. pete@smith79.freeserve.co.uk.

Specific names get forwarded to a specific e-mail address, with everything else being forwarded to a "default" account, e.g:

info@yourname.co.uk will be forwarded to pete@smith79.freeserve.co.uk

sales@yourname.co.uk will be forwarded to dave@jones3.freeserve.co.uk

Anything else, e.g. pete@yourname.co.uk, joebloggs@yourname.co.uk, complaints@yourname.co.uk, etc. would all be forwarded to a single e-mail account e.g. simon@williams9.freeserve.co.uk. This not only allows different e-mail addresses to be collected by different machines in the same office, it also means that sales e-mails could be picked up by a rep on the road on his laptop, or for a small home-based business two partners could each receive their own e-mails on their own home machines, etc..

If at any time in the future you change Internet Service Provider, you simply notify us in writing of your domain name and the new e-mail address(es) to which you want mail forwarded; we then arrange for his e-mail to be forwarded to the new e-mail account instead. There is no charge for this redirection, and you can change this as often as you want.

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7. What is website forwarding?

Web forwarding also works in an analogous way to Post Office mail redirection; in this case someone typing in www.yourname.co.uk will be automatically sent to your web page at e.g. www.smith79.freeserve.co.uk. As with e-mail forwarding, the service is transparent for the person calling up the web page; and the redirection is virtually instantaneous, so there is no delay in the process.

Again, if at any time in the future you change Internet Service Provider, you simply notify us in writing of your domain name and the new web site address to which you want the domain pointed; we then arrange for this change to be effected. There is no charge for this redirection, and you can change providers as often as you want.

The other thing which this allows is for youto have various domain names pointing to the same website. If you make gizmos and widgets you could conceivably register the domain names gizmo.co.uk and widget.co.uk and have them pointing to the yourname.co.uk website; or you could register yourname.com, yourname.net, etc. and have these pointing to the yourname.co.uk website.

 

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8. What is the "no frills" website service?

We have had a "template" website developed for us by a specialist company. This is a professional-looking website into which basic information about your business can be input by ourselves. We then put this website onto the internet, and arrange for your domain name(s) to be pointed to it. The information which will be on this website is as follows:

Home page - the company's name, and buttons for "About Us" and "Contact Details".

"About Us" - this will be a page carrying 300 words of description about the company. Typically it will tell people how long the company has been established, what it does, a little bit about the people behind it, etc.

"Contact Details" - this will be a page giving the company's address, phone and fax numbers, and e-mail address (including a "click here to e-mail us" link).

Our charge for this service is £75 plus VAT. We would emphasise, however, that it is "no frills" - the template has to be used "as is", you have to provide us with all the relevant details (including giving us the wording of the "About Us" narrative in exactly the form that you want it to appear on the site), and if you want to make changes to the site in the future there would be further charges for us doing this. However, it is a great way to get a professional-looking internet presence if time or money is tight.

To see an example of the style of website which we would set up for you please click here.

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9. What are Your Prices?

U.K. Domains (.co.uk, .org.uk, etc.) £99 plus VAT

Generic Domains (.com, .net, .org) £145 plus VAT

Other domains Details on request

No-frills website setup £75 plus VAT

To view our full pricelist please click here.

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10. Ongoing Charges

The only charges which you have to pay in the future is £30 plus VAT per annum for each domain name, from the third year onwards; this charge basically covers the fees payable to the local registry, the first two year's fees having already been paid out of the initial registration charge. One VITAL point here though - you MUST pay these charges or the domain name will be "struck off" and become available for somebody else to register. We would therefore emphasise how important it is that we are kept up to date with billing information if you change address etc..

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11. Why use our service?

Well, apart from the fact that we have an established reputation for the quality and efficiency of the company formation service which we provide, we have linked up with a quality internet partner to ensure that, in our opinion at least, the service which we provide is as good as you can get. Our aim, as with our company formation service, is to provide a quality service, value for money service; as when you instruct us to form a company, you can be satisfied that it will be done as quickly and efficiently as possible, with no unexpected delays or problems. Of course, it is possible to register a domain name cheaper elsewhere - but either you do not get the add-on services which we provide free, or you get locked in to a particular internet service provider and then have to pay for the privilege of moving to another provider who gives a better service, cheaper calls, etc. in the future. With our service there are NO TIES AT ALL - if you change provider you just let us know the details and the domain name will be pointed to the new provider; you can leave their domain on our internet partner's servers for as long as you want; and if you want to put the domain onto another provider's servers in the future there is no charge for transferring it (n.b. in most circumstances we would NOT recommend you do this however; the forwarding which we provide is completely transparent, and so in most cases all you would do is tie your domain name in to another provider for no good reason. In most instances you would normally be much better off keeping your domain name separate from your service provider).

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12. Ordering Procedure

Because orders cannot be cancelled once they are placed, and because spellings, owners details, etc. are so critical and cannot be easily changed, we need all orders to be confirmed in writing. Once we have checked the availability of the name(s) which you require we will fax or e-mail you over an order form, which you can simply complete and send back to us. Alternatively, we have an on-line form available in the "Prices and Ordering" section. We also include a form to set up e-mail and web forwarding, although this is not required to register the name and can be returned to us at a later date.

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13. List of Territories and Domain Suffixes

There are over 200 domains on the Internet where a name can be registered, the best known of which being .com. Most of the "country" domains only allow locally-registered companies to register a name similar to their company name, and overseas companies are unable to register their names unless they have an office in the territory. However, the following is a current list of the territories around the world where a domain name can be registered by anyone without them having to have a local office. We can arrange for your client to register a domain name in any (or indeed all) of these territories. Please contact us for more details and costs:

U.K. .co.uk

Rest of the World (contd.)

 
 

.org.uk

Democratic Repub. of Congo .cd
  .net.uk Dominica .com.dm
  .ltd.uk Dominican Republic .com.do
  .plc.uk Ecuador .com.ec
  .uk.com Fiji .com.fj
    Grenada .com.gd
Generic .com Guadeloupe .gp
  .net

Guatemala

.com.gt
  .org Guyana .com.gy
    Heard & McDonald .com.hm

Europe

  Hungary .co.hu
Armenia .am Israel .co.il
Austria .co.at Macau .com.mo
Azerbaijan .com.az Macedonia .mk
Denmark .dk Malawi .mw
Gibraltar .com.gi Martinique .mq
Guernsey .co.gg Mexico .com.mx
Isle of Man .co.im Monserrat .ms

Jersey

.co.je New Zealand .co.nz
Kazakhstan .kz Nicaragua .com.ni
Latvia .com .lv

Niue

.nu
Leichtenstine .li Norfolk Islands .com.nf
Lituania .lt Panama .com.pa
Luxembourg .lu Paraguay .com.py
Malta .com.mt Peru .com.pe
Romania .com.ro Pitcairn .com.pn
Russia .com.ru Puerto Rico .com.pr
Switzerland .ch Rwanda .rw
Turkey .com.tr Sao Tome & Principe .st
Uzbkistan .uz St Kitts & Nevis .com.kn
    St Lucia .com.lc

Rest of the World

  St Vincent & the Grenadines .com.vc

Afghanistan

.af Senegal .sn
American Samoa .as Seychelles .sc
Anguilla .off.ai South Africa .co.za
Antigua & Barbuda .com.ag Sri Lanka .lk
Argentina .com.ar Tajikistan .tj
Bahamas .com.bs Tonga .to
Bhutan .bt Trniidad & Tobago .co.tt
Burundi .bi Turkmenistan .tm
Cocos Islands .cc Turks & Caicos .tc

Congo

.cg British Virgin Islands .vg
Cook Islands .co.ck US Virgin Islands .co.vi

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