Check if your organisation can get a domain name

Find out if your organisation is eligible for a domain name and what to do if it’s not.

Domain names are a valuable asset and require a long-term financial and operational commitment. The Government Digital Service (GDS) assigns approved domain names on a first come, first served basis on behalf of the Cabinet Office.

Organisations eligible for a domain name

You can only apply for a domain name if you’re a:

  • central government department or agency - unless you qualify for an exemption

  • non-departmental body - also known as an arm’s length body

  • fire service

  • county, borough, metropolitan or district council

  • parish, town or community council

  • neighbourhood or village council

  • combined or unitary authority

  • police and crime commissioner

  • joint authority

  • joint committee

  • partnership body

If your organisation is not on this list and you think you may be eligible to apply, email

Other domains

Follow the appropriate application process if you need a domain name for:

Temporary domain names

If you request a domain name you know will be temporary, you must tell GDS when you apply and have a decommissioning plan in place.

If you’re outside England or Northern Ireland

If your organisation is in:

Geographic and geopolitical areas that have their own country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) must not use the domain. For example, you should use .im for the Isle of Man or .gi for Gibraltar.

Published 7 October 2019
  1. Step 1 Check if your organisation can apply

  2. Step 2 Appoint a domain name administrator and choose a registrar

    You must appoint someone to register the domain name. The Government Digital Service (GDS) must be able to contact them.

    1. Appoint a domain name administrator
    2. How to choose a good registrar or Domain Name Service (DNS) provider
  3. Step 3 Choose your domain name

  4. Step 4 Apply for your domain name

  5. Step 5 Appeal your rejected domain name application

  6. Step 6 Use your domain name

    You must follow the Cabinet Office guidelines when your domain is live, or GDS will withdraw it. For example, you must keep your contact details up to date.

    1. Set up, use and protect your domain name
  7. Step 7 Manage your domain name

    You can make changes to your domain name.

    1. Renew, modify or transfer your domain name

    If your organisation no longer needs a domain name, you must take steps to protect it.

    1. Stop using your domain name