Frequently asked questions

Registering domains

Who can register a domain? is available to everyone. When was launched in 2008, existing .nl domain holders and trademark owners were invited to a priority phase. Since the priority phase is over, domains are available to Dutchies and non-Dutchies alike. Just abide to our acceptable use policy.

How can I register a domain?

Most of the webhosting companies in the Netherlands offer as one of their standard extensions. The bigger international registrars also offer

Before registering a domain, check if the domain name is still available for registration. You can do so with your hosting company, or on our homepage.

Also consider whether you just want your domain name, or also webhosting and/or e-mail. Check the offerings of several parties and define your criteria before choosing one. A selection of providers is available on our Registrars page.

What does a domain cost?

The price for a domain is defined by the registrars and resellers, and may vary among different providers. It might be beneficial to compare prices before you start registering your domain. Do not forget to check the price for renewal as well, to prevent surprises after the first year when your domain is up for renewal.

Transferring domains

How can I transfer my domain name to another provider?

It is very easy to transfer a domain name to another provider. First, request from your current provider the authorisation code and ask them to remove any transfer lock from the domain. Send the authorisation code to your new provider. They will start the transfer. You might receive one or a few e-mails, and at most five days later, the domain is under management of the new provider.

Be careful: when you transfer a domain name, your web hosting and your e-mail is not automatically transferred as well! Contact your new provider for more information.

Note that a transfer cannot be started within 60 days from registration, a previous transfer or an owner change.

Migrating to

How can I migrate my website to a

If you have an existing website already, for example a .com or .nl domain, you can migrate to your own domain. Check with your webhosting provider for all details; maybe they can even help you with a simple migration.

Some things to think about:

  • For your SEO, a domain is as good as any other domain extension. Keep in mind that it can take a few days before Google indexes all new pages.
  • Therefore, it’s wise to redirect the pages of your old website to the corresponding pages on your new website.
  • Don’t forget your offline business: where do you need to change your domain name as well? For example, think of letterhead paper or business cards.
  • We strongly advise not to cancel your original domain name immediately. If you keep it alive, your redirects will remain functional and nobody can abuse your name.

Differences between and .nl

Is operated by .nl-registry SIDN?

No. While the domain name was indeed registered at SIDN (much like any .nl domain), the service provided by CO.NL B.V. based on this domain name is totally independent from SIDN, the .nl-Registry.

Therefore, the registration of a subdomain (as offered by CO.NL B.V. which is acting as Operator) should not be confused with the registration of a .nl domain name through SIDN, the official registry of the .nl extension on the Internet. SIDN is not involved in any way with the registration or servicing of subdomains by CO.NL B.V.

What’s the use of when .nl is working so well? is not meant to replace .nl. It can however be a valuable alternative in some cases. For example, studies show that customers used to a .co.xx address in their own countries are more likely to look for any particular brand in an other .co.xx suffix.

As a result, using in conjunction with could increase your chances to attract traffic from the United Kingdom (, India ( or any other of the 45+ countries that use a co.xx extension

Can I sell if I am already a .nl registrar?

No, .nl and are operated by different registries and are completely independent. If you are already a .nl registrar at SIDN, you still need a separate accreditation for Getting accredited is very easy through the CentralNic portal. Read more on our Registrars page.

Is the price identical to the .nl price?

No. Since CO.NL B.V. and SIDN have no relationship, the pricing structure for each service does not have to be identical.

Registrars having signed the CO.NL Agreement are free to determine their own price for regular yearly registrations.

Complaints about a domain

Where can I go if I have a complaint about a domain?

Your first point of contact is the domain holder. Find basic information of this entity through the whois page. If that does not succeed, contact the registrar. This is the company managing the domain name. The registrar’s details are available from the whois as well. If also this does not work, let us know.

What can I do if someone else registered my domain name?

Every domain name is unique. In other words: if a domain is registered once, nobody else can register this same domain name. Domain names are assigned on a first come, first served basis. So if a taxi company from Rotterdam registers, and a taxi company from Utrecht also wants this domain, this second party needs to find an alternative.

This applies to company, brand and product names as well. Having such a name does not grant you the right to register the corresponding domain name. Only if the domain owner is clearly abusing your brand or company name, there is a chance that you can get the domain name taken down or transferred to you. Your first point of contact in such cases is the domain owner or the registrar.

For registrars and resellers

Can I sell if I am already a .nl registrar?

No, .nl and are operated by different registries and are completely independent. If you are already a .nl registrar at SIDN, you still need a separate accreditation for Getting accredited is very easy through the CentralNic portal. Read more on our Registrars page.

How can I offer domains to my customers?

There are two ways to manage domains for your customers:

  • As a registrar: you buy your domains directly from CO.NL B.V.. The most important requirement is that you have an account at CentralNic. More information.
  • As a reseller: you buy your domains through a third party. There are no special requirements for this, other than an agreement with your supplier. In many cases, your existing provider (that you use for registering .com or .nl domains already) also provides and you can easily add this to your offerings.

Can I be listed at

Both registrars and resellers can be listed on our registrars page. On this page you can also read how to apply for listing.


What is a domain name and what is a domain extension?

A domain name is an internet address like the one you type into your web browser. Common examples include, and Anything before or after this name is not part of the domain name. For example, consider the web address “″. The domain name itself is just The rest just tells the web browser which specific page to load.

The letters after the dot are called the “domain extension”. While the rest of the domain name can be almost anything that you want, the domain extension has to be chosen from a limited set. The domain extension often implies the website’s target audience. This can be a country (,, a city or region (.amsterdam, .london) or a generic term (.com, .shop, .app).

What is a reseller?

A reseller is a company that does not buy domains directly from CO.NL B.V., but uses a third party for this. Using resellers is very common in the domain industry, because there’s just a limited number of companies with a direct contract to CO.NL B.V.; those are the so-called registrars.

All registrars and a selection of resellers is available on our registrar page.

What is a registrar?

A registrar is a company that buys its domains directly from CO.NL B.V.. Sometimes your webhosting provider is a registrar, but more often there are one or more additional layers in the supply chain. An overview of all registrars and the most important resellers is available on our registrar overview page.

What is a registrant?

A registrant is the private or legal entity that registered a domain name and who is listed as the domain owner. In most cases this is the customer or the user of the domain name.