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Choosing the Right Domain for Your Website in Brazil: .BR, .COM.BR, or .COM?

Table of Content

How Does the .BR Domain Work in Brazil?
What are the Different .BR Extensions Available?
Restricted Extensions
Who Oversees the .BR Domain?
How are .COM Domains Perceived in Brazil?
How Do .COM and .BR Compare in Terms of the Distribution of Registrations?
How do Both .BR and .COM Extensions Compare Side by Side?
So, What's the Best Choice for you?


Brazil’s economic journey has been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride lately! From a promising start in 2023, it then hit a plateau later in the year. But with a tight job market, rising wages, and consumer spending on the rise, this spells good news for businesses and entrepreneurs eyeing expansion or new ventures in the country.

In this ever-evolving economic panorama, establishing a formidable online presence in Brazil is a vital for both businesses and individuals. Selecting a distinctive domain name stands as a pivotal investment for the success of your company or venture. Naturally, you want to strike the right chord with your audience right from the get-go.
So, when faced with the choice between .br and .com, which path should you take? While you might expect a clear-cut answer, the reality is far more nuanced. There's no one-size-fits-all solution. Each option brings its own set of implications and advantages, fundamentally shaping how your audience perceives your digital footprint.
So, let's dive into the nitty-gritty of domain choices for your Brazilian website: should you go with a local .br extension or stick with the globally recognized .com? Let's explore the benefits of each option and find out which domain suits your needs best!

How Does the .BR Domain Work in Brazil?

Normally, you'd expect the country code top-level domain (ccTLD) like .br to be the obvious choice, and technically speaking, Brazil’s domain extension is .br. After all, most countries use their ccTLDs as the go-to web address, like .us for the United States, .uk for the United Kingdom, or .de for Germany.

But in Brazil, there's a twist. That's because but it's primarily used in second-level extensions, meaning that you cannot register a straightforward .br domain. Instead, you’ll have to choose between .com.br (for commercial entities), .org.br, .edu.br (for educational institutions), and other similar suffixes as the most popular options.

In fact, Brazil offers over 120 different .br categories to choose from. These include .com.br for businesses, .edu.br for educational institutions, and .org.br for organizations. So, a .br domain highlights your Brazilian identity and boosts your local SEO, but also associates your domain with your field of expertise, making it easier for local users to find you.

What are the Different .BR Extensions Available?

When registering a .br domain, you have a variety of extensions to choose from, each suited for different purposes and entities. Here are some popular options: 

  • .com.br: The go-to for businesses in Brazil, perfect for commercial entities.

  • .net.br: Great for companies involved in internet services and networking.

  • .org.br: Ideal for non-profit organizations, charities, and foundations.

  • .tv.br: Specifically for television and broadcasting websites.

  • .eco.br: Perfect for sites focused on environmental causes and sustainability.

  • .blog.br: Tailored for personal or professional blogs.

  • .b.br: Reserved for banking and financial institutions.

  • .adv.br: Designed for lawyers and law firms, giving legal professionals a professional edge.

  • .pro.br: Meant for professors and teachers, offering a professional presence online.

  • .etc.br: A versatile option for various purposes not covered by other extensions.

Restricted Extensions

Some domain extensions have specific restrictions: 

  • .gov.br: Reserved for government institutions, agencies, and departments.

  • .edu.br: Exclusively for educational institutions like universities and schools.

  • .mil.br: Used by military entities and defense organizations.

  • .jus.br: Specifically for the judiciary, including courts and legal institutions. 

Each of these extensions is tailored to helping you create a distinct online identity that aligns with your purpose and industry, ensuring your domain name resonates with your target audience.

Who Oversees the .BR Domain?

The .br domain is managed by the Brazilian Network Information Center. They oversee the registration and maintenance of .br domains, ensuring they are properly administered and available to those who meet the requirements. Brazil's official registry administrator is Registro.br (see the section below on How to Register a .br domain).
According to Registro.br, there are currently 5.343.775 .br domains registered as of May 2024. If we break this down, we can see that the .br domain landscape is dominated largely by a few key categories, reflecting the diverse uses and popularity of different domain types in Brazil. Here are the main ones: 

  • .com.br: Dominates the landscape with 4,970,528 domains, making up 93.02% of all .br domains.

  • .net.br: The second most popular, with 76,012 domains, accounting for 1.42%.

  • Other Categories: All other categories, such as .app.br, .art.br, .dev.br, and .eco.br, each represent less than 0.5% of the total registrations.

These key points indicate a strong preference for the .com.br domain among Brazilian entities, with considerably lower usage of other .br domain categories.

Figure 1. Share of .br domains by number of registrations and %. Source: nic.br

How are .COM Domains Perceived in Brazil?

In Brazil, .com domains are widely recognized and utilized, reflecting their global reputation as professional, trustworthy, and indicative of commercial intent. Brazilian businesses, particularly those with an international focus or ambitions, often choose .com domains to appeal to a broader audience and convey a sense of legitimacy and global reach. While .br domains dominate the local market, highlighting a strong national identity, .com domains offer several advantages that make them an attractive option for many Brazilian entities.

How Do .COM and .BR Compare in Terms of the Distribution of Registrations?

Reality on the ground indicates that when compared to .com in terms of the percentage of registration, data shows that the .br domain overwhelmingly dominates with almost 70% of the total distribution, indicating a strong preference or high usage in Brazil. The .com domain holds a significant but smaller share of 20.14%, reflecting its global popularity for commercial purposes. All other domains combined, including .online, .store, .net, and various niche TLDs, constitute the remaining 9.91%, highlighting the primary focus on .br and .com domains.

Figure 2. % distribution of extensions by % of registrations.

How do Both .BR and .COM Extensions Compare Side by Side?

Here’s a comparison of the pros and cons of .br and .com domains to help you make an informed decision.

Pros of a .BR Website in Brazil 

  1. Credibility and Trust: Shows commitment to the Brazilian market.

  2. Improved Search Engine Rankings in Brazil: Boosts visibility in local search results.

  3. Demonstrates Commitment: Indicates investment in serving Brazilian customers.

  4. Brand Protection: Prevents others from using your brand name in Brazil.

  5. Local Marketing Efforts: Supports cohesive marketing strategies for Brazilian consumers.

  6. Compliance with Brazilian Regulations: Meets local industry requirements and standards.

  7. Support for the Brazilian Economy: Contributes to local internet infrastructure.

  8. Unique Web Address: Distinctively highlights your Brazilian identity.

Cons of a .BR Extension in Brazil 

  1. Limited International Recognition: Less known outside Brazil, may hinder global reach.

  2. Complex Registration Process: Requires additional documentation and time.

  3. Potential Language Barrier: Registration typically in Portuguese, challenging for non-speakers.

  4. Geographic Limitation: Targets only the Brazilian market, limiting international flexibility.

  5. Less Brand Versatility: Strong Brazilian association might not suit global branding.

  6. Local Presence Requirement: Needs a local representative in Brazil for registration.

  7. Additional Maintenance: More effort needed to comply with local regulations.

  8. Renewal Restrictions: More complex and stricter renewal process than .com domains.


Pros of a .COM Website in Brazil 

  1. Global Recognition and Scope: Widely recognized and trusted worldwide.

  2. Brand Versatility: Not location-specific, offering flexibility for international expansion.

  3. Established Reputation: Known for reliability and association with established brands.

  4. Memorability: Simple, memorable, and widely used.

  5. More Domain Name Options: Larger pool of available names, increasing your chances of finding a perfect fit.

  6. No Local Presence Required: Can be registered without needing a local representative in Brazil.

  7. Flexibility in Targeting: Can target multiple countries or regions without separate extensions. 

  8. Integration with International Platforms: Seamlessly integrates with global e-commerce, social media, and online tools.

Cons of a .COM Extension in Brazil

  1. Less Local Focus: Might not show strong commitment to the Brazilian market, affecting local trust.

  2. Increased Competition: Harder to secure a memorable and relevant name due to high competition.

  3. Higher Cost: Premium .com domains can be expensive, especially popular or short names.

  4. Less SEO Benefit in Brazil: Might not rank as well as .br domains in local search results.

  5. Risk of Cybersquatting: Popularity makes .com domains targets for cybersquatting.

  6. Less Distinctive Identity: Might not stand out in Brazil as much as a .br domain.

  7. Potential for Confusion: Can confuse Brazilian audience about your local commitment.

  8. Generic Top-Level Domain: Lacks the local significance of a .br domain.


So, What's the Best Choice for you?

Both .com and .com.br are  popular options. While the .br domain is a powerful indicator of Brazilian identity and is highly effective for local operations, the .com domain offers strategic advantages for those looking to establish a strong, credible presence on both the national and international stage.
The .com extension is renowned for its versatility, suitable for a wide range of websites. However, due to the high demand, many desirable names are already taken. This raises the question: should you explore alternative extensions? The answer depends on your specific requirements and objectives.
One practical approach is to register both extensions (or multiple extensions: we recommend focusing on the most significant ones such as .com, .com.br, and .net). By leveraging the strengths of both domain types, Brazilian businesses can optimize their online presence to meet their specific goals and audiences. This will also secure your blog’s name across the two platforms and prevent others from using similar domains.
Yet you should also consider the name and purpose of your website. For instance, if your target audience is Brazilian, opting for the .com.br extension could help clarify your focus.


Both .br and .com domains offer unique advantages and face distinct challenges. Your choice should align with your site's target audience, goals, and how you wish to be perceived both locally and globally. Whether you opt for the local flair of a .br domain or the global reach of a .com, ensure it supports your overall strategy and strengthens your online presence.