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How to choose a domain name

Here you can learn more about your options when you choose a domain name, and what you need to consider regarding your right to use the name you want.

What kind of name should you choose?

Choose a domain name that is easy to relate to your organization or enterprise. It may be an organization name, a product name, a trademark or the name of a project. You can use the whole name, or just part of it. The name should be easy and intuitive for those who are trying to find you. It should also be easy to market.

Where should your domain be positioned in the name tree?

Within .no there are several second level domain names indicating different branches. The branches represent the "name tree". If your organization is for instance a museum, you may prefer to have two domain names, one on the branch museum.no and one directly within the .no top level.

There are several possibilities for positioning domain names in the name tree:
Directly within the .no top level

These are all registrations of the type enterprise-name.no. It is often logical and practical to have the name registered directly within .no.

Within a branch domain

Branch domains are used to gather organizations with common characteristics. An example is the branch domain folkebibl.no where all the municipal public libraries ("folkebiblioteker") in Norway are collected. For instance, one of the domain names registered in this category is trondheim.folkebibl.no.

Other examples of branch domains are dep.no (Norwegian Government), idrett.no (sport), kommune.no (municipalities) and vgs.no ("videregående skoler" - upper secondary schools).

Check the list of branch domains managed by Norid and branch domains within .no that are managed by others. If your organization belongs to one of these categories, you should apply for a domain name in the form domain-name.generic-domain.no

Within a geographical domain
You can register the organization in the geographical name tree if you want to indicate a geographical affiliation. We recommend this if your organization works within a particular geographical area. You can then avoid being mistaken for other organizations that have similar names but are located in a different region. See the list of the geographical domains for counties, municipalities and urban areas.

Find out whether the name is available

Check if the name is available, or ask your registrar.

Investigate whether you have the right to use the name

In principle, you are free to choose a domain name. However, you cannot choose a name that is in use by other organizations, or a name that is prohibited or reserved for technical, ethical or national considerations. You have also a duty to ensure that your registration of the domain name does not infringe another party's right to the same name.

  • Find out whether anyone else has registered rights to the name. Places to search are the Brønnøysund Register Centre, the Trademark Register and the Patent Register.
  • Some parties may have rights to names that are not registered; for example, a name may be protected because it has been in use for a long time, even if it does not represent a trademark. Here, caution is needed.

If you are not sure whether you can use the name, ask your registrar.

As an applicant, you must sign a declaration form in which you confirm that to the best of your knowledge you are not infringing another party's right to the name in question, and that you are responsible if you infringe another party's rights. You are yourself responsible for evaluating how thoroughly you need to investigate the situation before you sign the declaration form. Here is an article about some aspects of this issue.

Which characters can you use in the name?

The name can consist of letters, the digits 0-9, and the hyphen character. The name may not start or end with a hyphen. It must consist of at least 2 and at most 63 characters. Here is a list of the 49 letter characters you can use within .no. The character set covers all the official Norwegian written languages, that is, Norwegian bokmål, Norwegian nynorsk, North Sámi, South Sámi and Lule Sámi. Capital letters are not used in domain names.

Names containing only standard characters (a-z, 0-9, and hyphen) are more robust than names with special Norwegian or Sámi characters. This is because many browsers and email programmes do not support special mational characters in addresses.

More about the use of special Norwegian characters in domain names..

How many domains can you have?

An organization can have up to 100 domains directly within .no. In addition, the organization can register up to 5 domain names within relevant categories, and up to 5 domain names within each geographical area to which the organization has an affiliation. If you have used up your quota and need more names, you must delete old names before you can register new ones.

Domain names within .com, .org or other top level domains are independent from registrations within .no, and are not counted in this quota.

Useful links

Last modified 9 January 2012
UNINETT Norid AS   •   NO-7465 TRONDHEIM   •   Phone +47 07355   •   Fax +47 73 55 79 99   •   info@norid.no