I I would like to register an .ee domain. What do I have to do?

1. Why should I register a .ee domain?

.ee is the Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) reserved for Estonia and aimed at sharing information with Estonians. Search engines use a user’s location as a search parameter—for example, when a search engine sees a .ee website, it assumes the content is more relevant to Estonia than other countries, and ranks the site accordingly. No other top-level domain targets Estonians better than the .ee domain. Click here to watch a video explaining why you should register a .ee domain.

3. What is WHOIS?

WHOIS, or domain lookup, is a service that provides basic information about a registered domain, such as the domain owner’s name and contact information, the company with which the domain is registered (also called the Registrar), the registration and expiry dates of the domain name, and the domain’s availability status and DNSSEC signature. The WHOIS domain lookup service is available at www.interneti.ee .

4. Who or what is a registrar?

A registrar is a company or agency authorised and accredited by the Estonian Internet Foundation which offers registration services to people looking to register domains. Most registrars are providers of Internet and server hosting services. Once you choose your registrar, they then provide you with all registration services, including domain renewal and data amendment. The list of authorised registrars is available online at http://internet.ee/registrars/accredited-registrars.

6. What is the registry?

The registry is the record of all local domains. In Estonia the registry is the Estonian Internet Foundation.

7. I would like to register an .ee domain. What do I need to submit to the registrar?

The information you need to submit in order to register a domain name is set out in point 4.1.1 of the domain regulations. This states that you must submit to the registrar the following:

a) the domain name you are applying for;
b) the contact details of your administrative contact, their personal identification code and the name of the country that issued it (or in the absence of the personal identification code – the date of birth and the name of the country of nationality), telephone number and e-mail address;
c) the contact details of your technical contact, including the name of the technical contact, their registry code or personal identification code and the name of the country which registered or issued it (or in the absence of the personal identification code – the date of birth and the name of the country of nationality), telephone number and e-mail address, in the case of a Registrant that is a legal person, their name, address of location, registry code, telephone number and e-mail address;
d) in the case of a legal entity, contact details including its name, address, registry code, the name of the country which registered it, telephone number and e-mail address;
e) in the case of a natural person, contact details including their name(s) and surname, personal identification code and the name of the country which issued it (or in the absence of the personal identification code – the date of birth and the name of the country of nationality), telephone number and e-mail address.

Please note: follow the instructions given by the registrar when submitting the application to register your domain name.

Please note: if the domain is being registered by a representative of the registrant (i.e. their administrative contact person), they must be authorised to do so in writing or have this right on the basis of Estonian law (e.g. as a member of a management board).

8. Can I register a domain without name servers?

Yes, you can. The Domain Regulation does not require that registrants submit two name servers for their domain. However, if the registrant wishes to actually use the domain (create a website, use the domain as an email address, etc.), they have to provide two name servers for the domain.

9. For how long a period can .ee domains be registered?

.ee domains can be registered for 3, 6, 9 months and 1-10 years. The registry fee in 2018 is €1,6, €3,2, €4,8 and €6 per year, depending on the length of the registration period.
The registry fee is the fee that registrars pay to the Estonian Internet Foundation for registering or renewing a domain. The price for the end-user, i.e. the registrant, is determined by the registrars on a free market. VAT will be added to the fee.

10. Who is the administrative contact and what part do they play?

An administrative contact (natural person) is a legal representative of the registrant and is authorised to arrange all registration services in the name of the registrant. The administrative contact must be authorised in writing to act on behalf of the registrant in all matters related to the domain. If the registrant is a legal entity, the administrative contact is the person who orders the registration services from the registrar. If the registrant is an natural person, they normally also act as the administrative contact. The administrative contact does not have the right to delegate the authorisation. The administrative contact is responsible for the correctness and genuineness of the data and documents submitted about him/her and the registrant.

11. Who is the technical contact and what part do they play?

The technical contact person has the right to amend name server data for domains with which they are associated. If the registrant is using the services of a web hosting provider, we recommend that they appoint a representative of the provider as the technical contact person for their domains. At the same time, if the registrant manages their own servers, they can appoint themselves as the technical contact person.

12. Do applications to register domains need to be signed?

Yes. Point 4.1.2 of the domain regulations states that domain registration is one of the four registration services that requires the registrant or their administrative contact to sign their application. The regulations provide four ways of signing applications. They are:

a) digital signing using an Estonian ID card or the Mobile ID;b) signing in handwriting in the presence of a representative of the registrar (i.e. at the registrar’s office or a customer service location); 
b) digital signing using an ID card of a foreign state accepted by EIF (complete list of accepted foreign digital IDs can be found HERE);
c) paying the registrar for the registration service from the bank account of the registrant or their administrative contact, noting on the payment order the reference number assigned to this application by the Registrar and the corresponding domain name or the number of the invoice issued by the registrar that includes the relevant domain name; or
d) paying the registrar for the registration service by separate transfer from the PayPal account registered in the name of the registrant or the administrative contact and verified by PayPal and specify in the details of payment the relevant domain name or the number of the invoice issued by the registrar showing the relevant domain name. The Registrar has the right to request from the registrant additional proof regarding the verification of the PayPal account.

13. Are there any restrictions on the choice of domain names?

Yes. The domain regulations set out a number of restrictions on the format of domain names:

a) they can only contain letters, numbers (0-9) and hyphens (-);
b) the minimum length of a domain name is 2 symbols and the maximum length is 63 symbols;
c) no distinction is made in domain names between upper and lower case letters; and
d) a domain name cannot begin or end with a hyphen and cannot contain hyphens as both the third and fourth symbols.

14. What kinds of registration services do registrars provide?

According to the domain regulations, there are seven types of registration services, all of which can be provided by or arranged through registrars. They are:

a)registration of domain names;
b)deletion of registrations;
c)renewal of registrations;
d)transferring of domain names;
e)updating of contact details;
f)management of name server records; and
g)changing registrars.

16. Why is it not possible to register a domain name with EIS?

Registration of a .ee domain name uses a two-tier system in which EIS has delegated the provision of the registration service to registrars. A registrar is a domain name registration service provider that is formally accredited by EIS and has signed a registry agreement. Registrars provide.ee domain name registration services: domain name registration, renewal, amendment, deletion, etc. Unlike other service providers operating in the market, accredited registrars are subject to supervision by EIS.

18. Can foreign companies and private persons register a .ee domain?

Yes, companies and private persons not registered in Estonia can register a .ee domain name. Rule 4.1.1 c of the Domain Regulations requires the registrant to submit the following data of the administrative contact for the domain to be registered: name, their personal identification code and the name of the country that issued it (or in the absence of the personal identification code – the date of birth and the name of the country of nationality), telephone number and e-mail address.

19. How is the final cost of .ee domains worked out?

The cost of annual registration of a domain is determined by the registrar. The registry sets a uniform base fee for all registrars (€1,6, €3,2, €4,8 and €6 per year in 2018, depending on the length of the registration period). The final cost is influenced by competition on the market, which is why it may end up being lower than the base fee, or the same as it, or higher.

20. Are domain names that use letters with diacritics (ä, ö, ü, õ, š, ž) charged at the same rates?

The cost of registering domain names containing letters with diacritics (õ, ä, ö, ü, š, ž) is the same as per ordinary domain names. The registry sets a uniform base fee for all registrars ( €1,6, €3,2, €4,8 and €6 per year in 2018, depending on the length of the registration period). The cost of annual registration of a domain is determined by the registrar. The registry sets a uniform base fee for all registrars. The final cost is influenced by competition on the market, which is why it may end up being lower than the base fee, or the same as it, or even higher.

21. Can I use a domain with diacritics (ä, ö, ü, õ, š, ž) in an e-mail address?

As many e-mail programmes today still lack support for domain names containing letters with diacritical marks, it is not yet recommended to use such e-mail addresses. You can instead reproduce the domain with diacritics using the punycode solution (for instance, the punycode for info@täpitähtedegadomeen.ee is info@xn--tpithtedegadomeen-qqbd.ee), but in this case the domain name spelling becomes more complicated.

22. What are the general domains that form part of the top-level .ee domain?

General domains are used to group and distinguish the domain names of individuals and institutions with similar traits. They are:

a)com.ee – companies (incorporated entities) as defined in the Commercial Code;
b)pri.ee – individuals;
c)fie.ee – self-employed people (sole proprietors) as defined in the Commercial Code; and
d)med.ee – medical/health care institutions.

24. What is a subdomain and how does it differ from a general domain?

According to the Domain Regulations, a subdomain is a marking to the left of the top level domain .ee, separated by a period. An unlimited number of subdomains can be registered under a top level domain. For example, the FAQ of the Estonian Internet Foundation could be located at http://faq.internet.ee. Subdomains are administered by the owner of the domain in question. The owner of the domain can use subdomains for purposes such as specific subject subpages. The domain owner can also offer the opportunity to register a subdomain under their domain for a fee or free of charge. Further information can be found here.

25. Is it possible to register a subdomain free of charge and if yes, who can do it?

Yes, subdomains can be registered free of charge by private persons and educational, scientific or cultural institutions. Private persons can register free subdomains under the domains era.ee and eesti.ee. Educational, scientific and cultural institutions can register domains for free through the domains edu.ee, lib.ee, org.ee and vil.ee that belong to EENet (the Estonian Education and Research Network). Further information can be found here.

III DNSSEC security extention

34. What is DNSSEC?

Domain name system security extensions (DNSSEC) are a set of security protocols that ensure that when users enter the domain name’s URL in their browser, they reach the real IP address of the website they seek. For example, when a user enters the URL of their internet banking service provider in a browser, DNSSEC will ensure that the user is not sent to a similar-looking malicious website set up by a fraudster to steal passwords and private data. Click HERE to see a video explaining DNSSEC.

35. What is Full-Service DNSSEC?

When subscribing to Full-Service DNSSEC, domain name owners no longer need to worry about setting up and managing a DNSSEC infrastructure, creating security keys, or protecting private keys. This is the responsibility of the service provider. Full-Service DNSSEC means that a registrar or a provider of name server services has the capacity to create and manage DNSSEC security protocols, alongside forwarding security keys.

36. How can I subscribe to the Full-Service DNSSEC?

A list of accredited .ee registrars providing Full-Service DNSSEC is available in the comparison table on the internet.ee homepage (Full-Service DNSSEC providers are marked with an asterisk) or at www.internet.ee/dnssec/kes-pakub-dnssec-taisteenust. Full-Service DNSSEC providers may or may not charge extra for the service.

IV Domain Disputes Committee

38. What is the Domain Disputes Committee?

Situations can arise in registering domains in which individuals who are not acting in good faith attempt to register names. This is known as ‘domain name hijacking’. In order to prevent this unlawful activity, a domain disputes committee (hereafter referred to as the DDC) has been founded as part of the Estonian Internet Foundation. The DDC is neither a court nor a tribunal, but a specialised independent body operating as part of the foundation that is charged with the task of resolving disputes related to .ee domain names. Its activities are regulated by the rules of the DDC.

40. What should I do if I want to lodge a complaint with the DDC?

Draw up your complaint in accordance with point 5 of the DDC rules. You should provide evidence supporting your claims and also pay the committee fee. Your complaint must be signed digitally. Submit your complaint by e-mail to vaidlus@internet.ee. A detailed description and the requirements of proceedings to resolve disputes are set out in the rules of the DDC.

41. How much are the DDC fees?

DDC fees are used solely for the organisation of the work of the committee, covering the working fees of the people involved (2/3) and the work of the secretariat (1/3). The fees can be viewed online HERE.

42. What happens if the DDC upholds my complaint?

If the committee feels that a complaint is valid, the domain name violating your rights is either deleted or transferred to you, depending on which of the two decisions you seek from the DDC in the course of the dispute proceedings.

V General

46. How can I check who my registrar or web hosting service provider is?

You can find out who your registrar or web hosting service provider is by doing a WHOIS search on the website of the Estonian Internet Foundation. Web hosting service providers are not directly indicated in WHOIS, although you can normally determine the provider by looking at the names of the domain name servers.

48. Can a domain name be inherited?

Yes, the Domain Regulation provides for the possibility to inherit a domain name. In this case, the successor should submit a notarised document to the registrar confirming their rights as a successor. A will, marriage certificate, etc. will not be regarded as proof of the right of succession. Where EIS becomes aware that more than six months have elapsed since the death of a domain name owner and no right of succession has been exercised concerning the domain name, EIS will initiate the procedure for the deletion of the domain name. In this instance, the legal successor may request that the domain name be transferred within the 30-day period of the deletion procedure. If the domain name is deleted, it will become available on a “first come, first served” principle.

50. When can EIS delete a .ee domain name?

According to the Domain Regulation, EIS may delete a domain name in cases specifically related to the registration of the domain name. This may be done, for example, where EIS has not received an application for registration in accordance with the Domain Regulation, or the identity and/or intention of the representative of the registrant or the registrant’s representative are not verified in conformity with the Domain Regulation. This may also be the case where the email addresses provided by the registrant are not correct. Moreover, EIS may delete a domain name on a duly substantiated request by public authorities. The relevant authority must clarify why the domain name should be deleted. EIS will assess whether the deletion is proportional with regard to the registrant.