Who can register a .coop domain name?

Only cooperatives, cooperative service organizations and subsidiaries of cooperatives are eligible to use the .coop domain name. It is the responsibility of dotCoop to ensure that organizations that register .coop names meet the .coop TLD Eligibility Criteria as noted below. If you are not sure if your organization is eligible, please contact support@nic.coop. Ineligible registrants forfeit the entire registration fee.

What are the .coop TLD Eligibility Criteria?

To be approved to register and use a .coop domain name, an applicant must qualify under at least one of the following criteria:

  • Members of the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA) if otherwise eligible;
  • Members of the International Cooperative Alliance(ICA) if otherwise eligible;
  • Organizations formed as and/or considered cooperatives under applicable local law;
  • Associations comprised of cooperatives;
  • Organizations that are committed to the seven cooperative principles;
  • Organizations that are majority controlled by cooperatives;
  • Entities whose operations are principally dedicated to serving cooperatives;

And for no more than 5,000 registrants, persons or entities whose use of a .coop domain name would, in the opinion of the DCLLC Board, advance the interests of the cooperative sector in general or would assist in the development of cooperatives worldwide.

Who sets the eligibility criteria?

As the sponsor, dotCoop sets eligibility policies for registration for the .coop TLD based on the criteria defined in the agreement with ICANN. Eligibility criteria are specified in the Registration Agreement.

How will dotCoop ensure that only eligible organizations purchase names in the .coop domain?

DotCoop will validate that all registrants meet the eligibility criteria for .coop using information from co-operative membership organizations, from online research, from documents or contact references supplied by the .coop registrants that would prove their eligibility.

Can an individual purchase a .coop name?

Individuals cannot purchase a .coop name. Domain names can only be registered by an eligible organization, a cooperative in most cases. However, an individual’s name can be registered and indeed there are examples of individuals in the co-operative movement who are using a theirname.coop, to blog about the co-operative movement and their contribution to it. Such individual name registrations can only be made by a cooperative or other eligible organization affiliated to the individual and with their permission only. Please contact us at support@nic.coop with any questions on eligibility for such special domains.

What happens if my registration is determined to be ineligible?

You will be informed of an appeals process if you feel this determination was made in error. You will have 30 days to initiate the appeals process. The names you have registered will remain in reserve until any appeals process is completed.

If you are determined to be ineligible for a .coop domain, you will forfeit the entire registration fee and the names you have purchased will be released from the reserved name system.

If you are not sure that you are eligible, please contact the registry at support@nic.coop to confirm your eligibility.

What happens if an eligible registrant becomes ineligible?

If an eligible registrant becomes ineligible to hold a .coop name because of demutualization, dissolution of the co-op or other means, then the registrant should notify dotCoop within 30 days and the name will be revoked and become available for repurchase by another eligible organization. DotCoop will also move to revoke names if notified by this change by outside parties using the standard verification process. .Coop domain registrations by ineligible businesses or individuals will be revoked once the Verification Process is completed.

What is a “majority owned” business in terms of eligibility?

A business must be at least 51% owned by a cooperative or cooperatives in order to be eligible.

Are mutual insurance companies eligible for .coop?

Mutual insurance companies that operate on a cooperative basis are eligible for a .coop domain. Eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis. Please contact support@nic.coop for more information.

Can we buy a name if our co-op is not fully organized?

Yes, you can purchase a name for your co-op as it is being formed. DotCoop recognizes the need to create your Internet identity as an integral part of the start-up of any company in today’s world. However, dotCoop reserves the right to review your eligibility after an appropriate time and revoke your .coop domains with no refund if the organization that is created is not eligible as defined by our Charter. Generally, dotCoop reviews such registrations within four to six months of registration.