A TLD is the extension of a domain name. In other words, TLD refers to the expression following the last dot in a given internet address (e.g. www.example.bayern – TLD=bayern).

TLDs are divided into two categories: generic (gTLD) and country-specific (ccTLD). Country-specific TLDs refer to a certain country - e.g. .DE for Germany, .FR for France - while all other TLDs fall under the category generic.

With over 250 Million domains currently registered, the number of meaningful domains still available for registration has become small indeed. This scarcity of names was one of the reasons ICANN decided to allow new TLDs in 2008.

ICANN is also commited to encourage competition among TLD operators- more TLDs means more operators and therefore more competition.

Anyone interested in a .BAYERN domain will be able to register it. However, with the start of the TLD there will be a period in which applications from Bavaria will be prioritized.

 Due to ICANN specifications, Bayern Connect can not sell any domains directly.

.BAYERNdomains will be registrable with select registrars and ISPs.

A registrar is an ICANN-accredited company which performs registrations for domains. Registering a .BAYERN domain will be done exclusively by select ISPs and registrars.

Roughly three weeks after Sunrise and Landrush have ended, .BAYERN will officially launch. This is called General Availability.

From here on, the allocation will be done on a „first come, first serve“ basis. At this point, .BAYERN domains will go live.

Bayern Connect will not sell any .BAYERN domains to customers directly. Registration will be handled exclusively by ISPs or registrars - such as Minds+Machines, 1&1 or United Domains.

These provider set the price at which a .BAYERN domain may be registered. We do expect the final pricing for .BAYERN domains to be similar to comparable German gTLDs.

The state of Bavaria does have a legitimate interest in some domains. These will be reserved for the state government, to ensure that domains such as muenchen.bayern will not be misused.

Additionally, words that are unlawful to begin with, as well as certain other terms that ICANN has blocked for various reasons, will be unavailable for registration.

ICANN requires a comprehensive testing process for the technical infrastructure of any new TLD. This takes some time.

Upon completion, registrations will be processed as fast as possible.

The state of Bavaria endorses the new .bayern TLD. In 2011, the Bavarian regional parliament asked the state government to support the establishment of Bavaria online. Subsequently, the government announced an invitation to tender for the operation of the .bayern domain.

Bayern Connect GmbH was able to secure that mandate. Without governmental approvement, an application with ICANN for the gTLD would not have been possible.

Most TLDs are operated by commercial actors. The Denic, for example, is the commercial operator for .de. Other german gTLDs like .hamburg, .berlin or .nrw are also commercially operated, in close cooperation with the respective local administration.

 A TLD application is a complex, expensive and protracted process.  Furthermore, there are significant costs for technical infrastructure, legal issues and the ongoing operation of a TLD. Administrators are usually reluctant to bear that economic risk, and therefore prefer to outsource operation of a new TLD.

The Trademark Clearinghouse is a register run by ICANN. Trademark Holders may register in the Clearinghouse to become eligible for participation in any TLD`s Sunrise period. More information can be found here.