How to find out if you have the rights to a .uk domain name

Tuesday 4 June 2019

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Web domain

The .uk domain was launched in June 2014 and is a country code top-level domain (ccTLD). 3.2 million people currently own the rights to an unclaimed .uk domain, and you might well be one of them.

This is because the .uk domain may have been automatically reserved for you if you are the current owner of a .co.uk, .org.uk, .me.uk, .net.uk, .plc.uk, ltd.uk domain. However, it’s not enough to secure it simply if you have had this reserved for you. If you wish to take action and own the domain officially, the deadline for claiming and registering these domains is 25th June 2019.

If you already own one of the corresponding domains above you can check to see if you are also the owner of the rights to the .uk domain here. If this checker shows that you do indeed have the rights to the .uk domain, you can register this as you would a usual domain registration with your current registrar, or, if you wish, you can choose to register it with a new one.

If you do have the rights to the domain, you only have up until 25th June 2019 to claim it and register it. If you don’t register the .uk domain you hold the rights to currently, then after the 25th  June 2019, the domain will be available for purchase and registration to the rest of the general public, and anybody who wants that .uk domain will be able to register it for themselves without your permission. The date that the unclaimed .uk domains will go out for general sale to anyone will be from 1st July 2019.

It is important to note that even now, only those .co.uk, .org.uk, .me.uk, .net.uk, .plc.uk, ltd.uk domains that were registered before 23:59 on 28th October 2013 will have come with the automatic rights to the equivalent .uk domain, and so you may well find that you do not own the rights despite owning the corresponding domain already after all. But, of course, if you check for the .uk domain on a normal domain name availability checker and it’s showing as available, then there is absolutely nothing to stop you from registering it for yourself anyway.

If you do not have the rights to the .uk domain and also have decided you do not want to register it yourself, you may still be concerned about someone taking a similar domain to your existing business. This could be a concern due to the worry that someone would have a similar domain name to your own business and therefore do some kind of reputational damage. However, this usually isn’t something you’d need to worry about. For starters such untoward action isn’t very likely as the opportunity for very similar domain names is a part of the nature of the internet. And also, in terms of the content being hosted on that similar domain damaging your own business, this again is unlikely as there are rules in place that mean this could be a breach of Nominet’s Terms and Conditions or Abuse policy. If you have an issue to the way any domain is used, you are able to report it to Nominet. However, bear in mind that the best way to prevent a similar domain registration having any level of detrimental effect on you own business is to make sure you register it for yourself first!

To check to see if you do own the rights to the .uk domain you wish to register use the tool you will find on this site.

If you would like to register a new domain with CWCS, visit our Domain Registration page.

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