© Crown copyright 2018
This publication is licensed under the terms of the Open Government Licence v3.0 except where otherwise stated. To view this licence, visit nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3 or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email: email@example.com.
Where we have identified any third party copyright information you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holders concerned.
This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/request-an-exemption-from-govuk/exemptions-guidance
You must not create any new government website, microsite or public-facing domain without an exemption or campaign approval from the Government Digital Service (GDS).
This applies to both .gov.uk and non-government domains (like org.uk, co.uk or .com).
You can find separate guidance on:
2. Organisations exempt from GOV.UK
Organisations in these categories are already exempt:
- emergency services
- National Health Service (NHS)
- armed forces
- devolved administrations
- organisations that get over 25% of their income from commercial activity in a competitive marketplace (sources outside of government)
You do not have to do anything if your organisation is in one of these categories.
3. Content that must be on GOV.UK
Unless your organisation is in one of the exempt categories, your content and services must sit on GOV.UK if you:
- are over 50% government-funded (through direct funding or the statutory ability to charge fees or raise levies)
- fall within the GOV.UK proposition
Government organisations with a mixed funding structure will also be considered.
4. Independent inquiries
Independent inquiries are dealt with on a case by case basis.
If there’s significant evidence to show that being on GOV.UK would be detrimental to the inquiry, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. Request an exemption
Complete the exemption form (ODT, 14KB).
Email it to email@example.com with the subject line ‘Exemption request’.
You’ll need to include:
- why the user need cannot be met on GOV.UK, with supporting evidence
- your proposed domain name
- confirmation that your digital leader has given their approval
Exemptions are granted by departmental technology and digital leaders after GDS makes an initial assessment and recommendation.
GDS will let you know the decision within 28 days of your request.
6. If your exemption is approved
If you get an exemption, you must check if you need spend approval.