Follow these criteria to make sure that you choose an appropriate .gov.uk domain name.
When you choose your .gov.uk domain name you must make sure it is:
- available - you can check if a domain name is registered
- not confusing for users
Choose a descriptive domain name
Your proposed domain name must clearly describe your organisation or government initiative you’re providing. Your domain name must:
- be between 3 and 63 characters long
- contain only alphanumeric characters (0-9 and a-z) and the ‘-‘ (dash) symbol
- not be the same or substantially similar to an existing .gov.uk domain name
- not use ‘&’ (ampersands) or ‘_’ (underscores)
- not include abbreviations like ltd, plc and gov
- not include a postcode
You could use the full name of your organisation, government initiative or an appropriate suffix.
A central department can use
A county council can use
A parish council can use
A geographical identifier your users will recognise.
northyorks.gov.uk is acceptable.
Make your proposed domain name unique
If your proposed domain name is the same as another .gov.uk domain name you must choose another name.
If you apply for a generic word or combination of generic words for a .gov.uk domain name, the Government Digital Service (GDS) will refer this to the Naming and Approvals Committee. The committee may contact other government organisations who may have a claim on the generic words before they make their final decision.
security.gov.uk is generic and GDS would refer this request to the Naming and Approvals Committee.
Avoid user confusion when using acronyms or abbreviations
If you use an acronym, initialism, or abbreviation this must be descriptive, unique and clear to avoid user confusion. Any application for these terms will need approval from the Naming and Approvals Committee. You can use commonly-used abbreviations like DWP, HMRC or DVLA. You can also use abbreviations that are well-known to your users.
mhclg.gov.uk is acceptable for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.