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Why Register a .CA Domain in Canada

With a GDP of over US$1.6 trillion in 2020, Canada remains one of the top economies of the world. Aside from its stable economy, it also has low corporate tax rates and low crime rates, making it more attractive to business owners and foreign investors. It also has free trade agreements with US and Mexico, which gives businesses vast reach in North and Latin America. Indeed, Canada is a good location to start a business.

When planning a business venture in Canada, include the registration of a .ca domain in your strategy. Here, we’ll give you a brief overview of what this domain is and why you should get one for your Canadian business.

1. What is a .CA Domain?

.ca is a country code top-level domain for Canada managed by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA). There are currently only a little over 3 million domains registered under CIRA. This is probably due to the fact that registering a .ca domain is restricted only to entities with a connection to Canada. Proof of this connection is generally required before anyone is allowed to register and maintain this ccTLD.

2. Why Register a .CA Domain

While it is easier to get a .com domain, there are several reasons why you ought to get a .ca for your business. Here are some of them:

1. You run a business enterprise in Canada

A 2020 survey shows that 60% of Canadians are more likely to transact business with a company that has its own website. The same survey shows that one-third of the respondents do not trust a business that does not have its own site. Moreover, Canadian customers tend to have a stronger affinity towards websites with .ca as this indicates connection to their homeland.

So, if you run a business and cater to Canadian customers, having a .ca appended to your website instantly brands you as a Canadian enterprise. This earns you goodwill and enables you to reach target customers in the country.

2. You offer products or services to Canadians online

Given a choice, two-thirds of Canadian consumers prefer purchasing online from Canadian retailers. So, these consumers are more likely to transact business on websites granted the use of the .ca domain.

Viewed as safe and secure, these .ca websites are trusted by Canadian internet users. Moreover, the .ca appended on the domain assures them that they will be charged in Canadian dollars and will have to pay no additional taxes and duties for shipping across the border.

3.You want to enhance your SEO in Canada

With a .ca, search engines can easily identify  your website as Canadian and will deem it more relevant to users in Canada. Your site’s chances of ranking high on search results within the country increase, and so does your audience reach.

4.You get to help build a better online space for Canada.

With every .ca registration, a portion is given back to the Canadian community through Community Investment Program grants. These funds are used to bring internet services to other regions. They are also used to break the fake news cycle and enhance access to information for everyone.

5.You are able to maintain exclusive use of your trademark

Even if your trademark and business name are officially registered, someone else can still register this name using a .ca domain extension. When your business eventually grows, this can cause confusion among your customers and you might end up losing some of them. So, it is best to own the .ca website with your trademark or business name to avoid inconvenient legal battles in the future.

3. Requirements for .CA Domain Registration

Whatever the use, all .ca domain names can only be registered by individuals or entities that meet the Canadian Presence Requirements. These requirements include:

1.Connection to Canada

Only those with an actual connection to the country are allowed to register a .ca. There are currently 18 categories that can indicate this connection, and they can be either individuals or non-individuals.

Categories for Individuals:

  • Canadian citizen

  • Permanent resident

  • Legal representative of a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident

  • The monarch and their successors

  • Aboriginal peoples including the Inuit, First Nation, Metis, and other people indigenous to Canada

Categories for Non-Individuals:

  • Corporation in any province or territory of Canada

  • Trust with more than two-thirds of the trustees are Canadian citizens, permanent residents, Canadian corporations, or their legal representatives

  • Partnership with Canadian citizens or permanent residents

  • Association where at least 80% of the members are Canadian citizens or permanent residents

  • Trade union recognized by a labor board under the laws of Canada

  • Political party

  • Educational institution in any province or territory of Canada

  • Library, Archive, or Museum in any province or territory of Canada

  • Hospital in any province or territory of Canada

  • Indian band as defined in the Indian Act

  • Government agency, entity, Crown corporation, or any other government institution

  • Trademark registered in Canada

  • Official marks

2.Acceptance of the .ca registrant agreement

You must confirm agreement to the terms for using a .ca domain. The registrant agreement contains provisions that you need to comply with for the continued use of the ccTLD.

3.Submission of documentation

In some circumstances, you may be requested to submit documentation to verify your eligibility for the category you have chosen. This does not always happen, but it may be required to ensure that you meet the Canadian Presence Requirement.

4. How to Register a .CA Domain

Although there are requirements to comply with, the registration process itself is quite straightforward. You can finish it in just a few steps.

1.Check availability

Use the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) platform to search the domain name you intend on using. In case it is not available, you can choose another one or select from the alternatives suggested after the search.

2.Choose a registrar

Choose among the online retailers or certified Registrars published by CIRA. Some website builders and domain resellers may have a different company listed as the official registrar. Just exercise due diligence when choosing your registrar.

3.Register your domain name

It’s fairly easy to register your domain name, so do it yourself to ensure that you have access to it. Just make sure you provide accurate information during the registration process. You can register your domain name for a term of 1 year to up to 10 years. After which, you can renew for subsequent terms.

5. Get a .CA to Reach More of Canada

With all the benefits you can get from a .ca website, you ought to seriously consider getting this domain extension for your business is you are based in Canada and serve Canadian customers. Having one will widen your reach, boost your brand reputation, and increase your profits. Make sure to get your domain from a reliable registrar.