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France .FR Domain: Step-by-Step Registration Guide

Table of Content

What is the .FR Domain?
Why Should you Choose a .FR Domain?

How to Get a .FR Domain?
Verifying Eligibility
Other Generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) Related to France to Consider


In the eyes of many, France stands as a timeless emblem of elegance and refinement. Renowned for its grace, beauty, and romantic allure, destinations such as Paris evoke a sense of charm, elegance, and sophistication. Its cultural influence within style and fashion has left an enduring and far-reaching impact across various facets of life, including gastronomy, design, and architecture, both locally and globally.

Beyond its artistic sensibilities, the French business landscape stands out as a prime destination for brands seeking expansion opportunities, especially within the digital sphere: ranked as the seventh largest e-commerce market globally and the third largest in Europe, 80% of Internet users in France shopped online in 2021. However, achieving success in France involves understanding and aligning with the consumer habits of the local community. Established giants such as amazon.fr, aliexpress.com, and cdiscount.com hold considerable sway in the market, making it imperative for emerging brands to devise a robust strategy to carve out their own unique niche and stand tall within this competitive arena.
According to AFNIC, the .fr TLD boasts over 4 million domain names, representing nearly 40% of the market share in France, with 12,000 to 16,000 new domain names created weekly. This surge is largely driven by the digital evolution of French small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with over 50% opting for a .fr address due to its trustworthiness, affordability, and simplicity.

Our comprehensive guide provides a walkthrough that will assist you in successfully registering your .fr domain. We will take you through each step of the process, ensuring that you understand all the requirements and have all the information needed to manage and maintain your domain effectively. By acquiring a .fr domain, you gain numerous benefits and establish a strong presence in the thriving French e-commerce landscape. Our guide covers considerations that are crucial for your success in this market.

What is the .FR Domain?

The .fr domain is the country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for France and is commonly used by businesses, organizations, and individuals. It is the designated domain extension for websites associated with entities located in or associated with France. The registration of domain names under .fr is managed by the Association Francaise pour le Nommage Internet en Cooperation, commonly referred to as AFNIC.

Registrants or domain owners need to comply with the specific requirements and documentation requested by the chosen Registrar to register and maintain their .fr domain.

Why Should you Choose a .FR Domain?

If your business has a connection to France or you are targeting a French audience, then having a .fr domain can serve as a strategic asset. Here are a handful of reasons why you might consider choosing a .fr domain:

  • Geographical targeting: If your business caters to a French audience or takes pride in your connection to France or a specific region within the country, having a .fr domain signals to visitors that your content, products, or services are relevant to them.

  • Trust and credibility: Having a .fr domain signifies local presence, fostering trust and establishing a sense of authenticity among clients who favor locally oriented brands. Furthermore, concerns around cybersecurity emphasize the need for localized content and user-generated testimonials to enhance your credibility and address the concerns of the 80% of French consumers who research before buying online.

  • Brand recognition: A .fr domain can contribute to brand recognition and memorability for businesses or individuals operating in France, making it clear that your online presence is associated with France.

  • Quality assurance: French consumers prioritize quality: by having a .fr domain, you are showcasing a commitment to delivering high-quality products or services that resonate with local expectations.

  • Legitimacy: A .fr domain can indicate your company's legitimate presence. This is reflected by adhering to local standards, especially if you are required to comply with specific regulations in France.

  • Embracing local preferences: The French community values local merchants and products marked with the "Made in France" label. With a .fr domain, you are more likely to align with the 50% of consumers who favor locally produced goods. Moreover, 60% are willing to pay more for these products, considering them supportive of the French economy and a symbol of quality assurance.

  • Local SEO: Search engines often use the location of a website's domain as a factor in local search results. Having a .fr domain can potentially improve your website's visibility in search results for users in France.

  • Leveraging social media influence: French consumers heavily rely on social media for product research and purchases. A .fr domain can enhance your brand's local credibility on social platforms, leveraging influencer marketing and building a more substantial social media presence.

  • Tailored delivery solutions: Given that 35% of French consumers switch brands after poor delivery experiences, a .fr domain is crucial for aligning with delivery expectations and locally tailored solutions.

  • Access to training: Besides storing your data in France and complying with high-level technical and security standards, possessing a .fr domain provides access to specialized training programs and webinars organized by AFNIC in partnership with Foliweb. This collaboration aims to assist small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by offering guidance and expertise on various facets of their online presence.

Acquiring a .fr domain, therefore, not only signifies a local presence but it enables your brand to adapt seamlessly to the nuances of French consumer habits. You can significantly bolster sales conversions and sustain positive growth by facilitating and building trust through localized content.

How to Get a .FR Domain?

For a comprehensive understanding of the process, follow our 6-step guide on registering a .fr domain.

Step 1: Conduct a Domain Availability Search

Begin by checking the availability of your domain. Use the Nominus.com tool for a quick and efficient search to see if your desired domain is available.

Step 2: Verifying Eligibility 

Specific requirements must be met to register a .fr domain name. For instance, the domain's owner must be an individual or a company registered in a European country. This comprises nations that are a part of the European Union, along with Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland, and Norway.
However, even if you don't reside in one of these locations, you can still use a trustee service to hold a .fr domain name. Nominus provides this trustee service. We can register the domain on behalf of our local agents and then make it accessible to you for an extra fee. 

Step 3: Registering Your Domain

During the registration process, you'll need to provide the necessary information, including your contact details, business information (if applicable), and other required details. Make sure the information you provide is accurate and up to date. Depending on your eligibility,  the registrar or AFNIC may request additional documentation to support your registration. This could include proof of residence or a legal entity in France.

Step 4: Payment and Registration

Complete the registration process by paying the registration fee. With Nominus, you can pay either with a credit card or PayPal.
Once you've paid for your .fr domain, you secure the exclusive rights to use it for the duration specified in your purchase, typically one to ten years.

Step 5: Setting up Your Domain

Log in to your registrar's dashboard or admin panel. From there, you can manage your domain settings, set up DNS records, configure email forwarding, and other related configurations. If you use our Trustee Service, we will handle this for you.

Step 6: Manage Your Domain

Once your registration is successful, you can manage your domain through the registrar's control panel. This includes updating contact information, renewing your domain, and configuring DNS settings.

  • Updated contact information: Ensure your contact details are valid and up-to-date throughout the life of your domain. Notify your registrar promptly of any changes in your details as the holder or administrative contact.

  • Renewal process: Domain names aren't purchased but leased for a set period. Renewal periods range from one to ten years, and it's your choice. Coordinate renewal with your registrar before expiry to retain domain use. Failure to renew prompts the registrar to request deletion from Afnic.

Other Generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) Related to France to Consider

Besides the commonly known .fr domain, several other extensions cater to specific regions or themes related to France. Some notable examples include:

  • .paris: Designed for Paris-associated entities, this domain extension aims to promote businesses, culture, and tourism related to the French capital.

  • .alsace: Geared towards representing the Alsace region, this domain extension serves the local community by supporting businesses, cultural initiatives, and organizations in Alsace.

  • .corsica: Tailored for the island of Corsica, this domain extension aims to promote Corsican identity, culture, tourism, and local businesses.

  • .bzh: Specifically designed for the Breton community, this domain represents Breton culture, language, and businesses in Brittany.

Each domain extension serves a unique purpose, whether promoting local identity, businesses, or cultural heritage associated with specific regions in France. They offer a distinct online presence tailored to their respective communities or themes.


What are the rules for choosing a domain name?

Ensure the name doesn't violate public order or morality, infringe rights, mimic official entities, or already exist. Domain names must adhere to character limits and specific formats. For .fr domains, the name should be at least 1 character long with a maximum length of 63 characters. Domain names can contain letters (a-z), numbers (0-9), and dashes (-). Since May 3, 2012, domain names with accents, cedillas, and other diacritic characters (IDN) are allowed in all Afnic-managed TLDs. Accepted characters include various letters, numbers, and some special characters like ñ, ß, and - (minus sign).

What if the chosen domain is taken?

If the domain exists in Afnic's TLDs, consider waiting or modifying the name slightly. In case of infringement, dispute resolution procedures are available through AFNIC.

How can I change the registrar to Nominus

To initiate the domain transfer to Nominus, inform your current Registrar and obtain an 'Auth_info' code. Once you have this code, request the transfer with Nominus. Nominus will then facilitate the transfer process through Afnic. 

What are the minimum and maximum renewal periods for a domain name?

The minimum registration period for a .fr domain name is one year. The maximum renewal term can be extended up to 10 years, though this duration might differ among various registrars. At Nominus.com, we provide the option to renew your domain for up to 10 years.


Not only does a .fr domain signify your connection to the vibrant French culture, it also signals your commitment to the local market, garnering trust within the French community, and enhancing your business's online visibility and strategic growth potential. It's essential to note that eligibility for a .fr domain is reserved for individuals residing in Europe or legal entities with their core operations rooted in European territories like Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland. Should you fall outside these criteria, Nominus extends a trustee service via our regional representatives, simplifying the process of registering a .fr domain on your behalf. Remember that having a .fr domain is more than just an online address; it's about embracing France's diverse culture and heritage.