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How to Become a Registrar

The process of becoming an ICANN-accredited registrar includes several steps. The following summary of these steps is intended to guide you through this process.

  1. Review the Qualification Criteria described in the Statement of Registrar Accreditation Policy.

  2. Review the Financial Considerations that apply to become an ICANN-accredited registrar.

  3. Review the Governing Agreements and Policies that apply to every ICANN-accredited registrar.

  4. Apply for Registrar Accreditation. To apply, you must complete an ICANN application form. To assist us in processing your application as quickly as possible, please submit very specific, thorough answers and all necessary supporting documents. The main reasons for delays in the processing of an application include missing supporting documents and incomplete or vague answers to application questions. Questions you may have concerning your application should be addressed to

  5. After completing its review of your application and conducting any necessary follow-up inquiries and research, ICANN will inform you by e-mail of its decision on your accreditation application.

If your accreditation application is approved, the following additional steps must be completed:

  1. Sign a Registrar Accreditation Agreement with ICANN and pay the accreditation fee. The current version of the agreement is a standard document that all registrars sign with ICANN. An ICANN accreditation is currently granted for a term of 5 years. (ICANN will generate and send your Agreement, along with an invoice for the annual fixed portion of the accreditation fee).

  2. Sign a Registrar Data Escrow (RDE) Agreement with an ICANN-Designated Registrar Data Escrow Agent, or select an ICANN-Approved Registrar Data Escrow Agent (at your own cost). As stated in paragraph 3.6 of the RAA, all ICANN-accredited registrars are required to deposit certain gTLD registration information. Executing both the RAA and RDE Agreement with ICANN are the last steps in the ICANN registrar accreditation process.

  3. Once you return the signed RAA and RDE Agreement and pay your accreditation fee, ICANN will notify the applicable registries of your accreditation and add you to the list of registrars at You should work out the contract, financial, and technical details with the registry operators.

  4. Complete the preparation of your registration agreement for Registered Name Holders. The ICANN Registrar Accreditation Agreement requires that certain specific provisions be included in this registration agreement. In addition, ICANN adopted a Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy, which all accredited registrars are required to follow. You may also wish to implement a Privacy Policy to comply with the requirements of your accreditation agreement.

  5. Inaugurate your service. After the above steps have been completed, you should be able to begin offering services to the public as soon as you pass the testing process and become operational with the respective registries for which you have been accredited.

  6. Help in the Registrar Accreditation Application Process

    For help completing your ICANN Registrar Accreditation Application, or for general questions about becoming an ICANN-accredited registrar, please submit email inquiries to

Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."