Nominet released the .uk domain on 10 June 2014.
The release has been done in a manner designed to protect the interests of existing registrants of .co.uk, .org.uk, etc. domains.
For now, you can only register a .uk domain if:
- You have an existing registration for that name in one of the extensions: .co.uk, .org.uk, .me.uk, .net.uk, .plc.uk or .ltd.uk
- Or if the domain had no existing registration for any of the previous uk extensions: .co.uk, .org.uk, .me.uk, .net.uk, .plc.uk or .ltd.uk
After 10 June 2019 any .uk domain can be registered if still available.
Why Was It Done Like This?
The .co.uk domain has been for many years the UK’s premium domain extension, popular with both businesses and individuals.
Many businesses have built their branding around their domain. Some of these domain names were purchased for significant sums of money.
To release the .uk with no restrictions would have meant a land grab, where any business not aware of what was going on, or unable to register the .uk version of their domain quick enough – losing out.
The 5 year grace period gives domain registrants plenty of time to protect their brand and register the .uk equivalent before anyone else can.
Registering Both .co.uk And .uk
The .co.uk has for so many years been the de facto No.1 domain, but over the coming years .uk should supersede it.
In the meantime, businesses will feel that they need to have both the .uk and .co.uk versions of their domain registered (forwarding one to the other) to avoid any confusion and to protect their brand.
Find Out More
You can read the full details of the launch here.