63,000 new domain names were registered from March to August this year, which is the highest we have had in the corresponding period since 2012. Although a significant number of domain names have been discontinued during the period, we still see a marked net increase. At the end of August, we listed a total of 795,000 Norwegian domain names, while the number at the same time last year was just over 774,000. The increase is almost 21,000 domain names, while the annual increase was around 17,000 both in 2018 and 2019.
Doubling from private individuals
One in four new registrations is from private individuals, while companies and other organizations are responsible for the rest. Ståle Schumacher at Domeneshop AS, which is one of the domain name providers Norid has an agreement with, confirms general increased activity with domain registration. They have also noticed a tendency that there are especially many private individuals who order domain names, often with a comment that they shall transfer the domain name to a new company when they receive the organization number from Brønnøysund Register Centre. – It is clear that there are many business ideas that are at an early stage, and then you want to secure the domain name first and then arrange the rest of the formalities afterwards. The first thing you need when starting a new business in 2020 is, of course, a domain name and an email address, says Schumacher.
The crisis package may have had an impact
The increase in the number of new registrations may have been affected by the Government's crisis package for entrepreneurs and growth companies. From mid-April, a corona-affected Norwegian business community could apply for support from Innovation Norway's extra pot, which was then close to NOK 5 billion. According to nrk.no (31 August), this year's limit for loans and grants from Innovation Norway has been increased to a total of 14 billion, of which 2.17 billion has been granted so far this year, which is more than three times as much as at the same time last year.
The Brønnøysund Register Centre confirms increased demand for the guidance service at their department in Narvik aimed at start-ups and running businesses after the new state schemes were established after the close-down last March. They also report that they have had a particularly increased demand this summer compared to normal summer activity. So far, they have not registered significant changes in the number of newly registered companies or enterprises this year compared to 2018 and 2019.