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Registering a .US Domain Name: Everything You Need to Know

Table of Content

1. What is a .US Domain Name?
2. Why Choose a .US Domain?
3. Choosing a Domain Name
4. Requirements and Rules for Registering a .US Domain
5. Steps to Verify the Availability of Your Preferred Domain Name
6. Steps to Register a .US Domain Name with Nominus
7. Can a Foreigner Register a .US Domain?
8. Can a Foreign Company Register a .US Domain?
9. Managing Your Domain Name Registration and Renewal

One of the first steps in starting your business is creating a website. Your website represents your brand and allows users to contact you and buy your products or services. Therefore, your website's domain name must represent your company and brand correctly and efficiently.

The US is a vital market for any business; by acquiring a .us domain name, you can effectively connect with and impact your US customer base.

This guide offers in-depth information on how to register a .us domain name, the importance of having one for businesses targeting the US market and provides advice on how to select a domain that effectively represents your brand.

1. What is a .US Domain Name?

.us is the Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for the United States. It was created in 1985 and is managed by the United States Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). A .us domain name is location specific and has certain eligibility criteria for registration.

2. Why Choose a .US Domain?    

Choosing a .us domain for your website can offer several advantages, especially if your target audience is in the United States. Here are a few key reasons why you should consider a .us domain:

  1. American identity: The .us domain is a clear indicator of American identity. Whether you're a business, an organization, or an individual, using a .us domain immediately tells visitors you are connected to the United States.

  2. Enhanced trust: For American users, a .us domain can foster a sense of trust and familiarity. Seeing a .us domain may comfort visitors in knowing they are dealing with a US-based entity, potentially boosting your website's credibility.

  3. Better SEO ranking:  If your target audience is in the United States, a .us domain could improve your search engine ranking for US-based searches. This could increase your site’s visibility, leading to more visitors and potentially more customers or followers.

  4. Availability: With many .com domains already taken, it can be difficult to find a suitable name for your website. In comparison, there may be more options available with a .us domain, giving you a better chance of getting the domain name you want.

  5. Localized content: Using a .us domain can help you emphasize local content, products, or services. This can be particularly beneficial if your business or organization caters specifically to a US audience.

  6. Patriotism: Lastly, using a .us domain is a powerful way to demonstrate your affiliation with the United States. It's a clear way to express your ties to America, and it can even serve as a unique feature for your website.

3. Choosing a Domain Name

Consider these tips while selecting a domain name:

The name should be memorable

You should select a domain name that is memorable, catchy, and consistent with your company name and image.

Keep it brief

Brief domain names are simpler to type and memorize. Therefore, you should keep your domain name to 15 characters or fewer.

Apply keywords

Your domain name should contain terms related to your company or industry. Your internet visibility will increase, and it will be simpler for potential clients to locate you.

Avoid hyphens or numbers

Your domain name may become muddled and challenging to remember if it contains hyphens or numbers. Thus, you should avoid using them.

4. Requirements and Rules for Registering a .US Domain

The US Nexus requirement is a set of rules that governs who is eligible to register a .us domain name. According to the U.S. Nexus requirement, only people or organizations with a meaningful link to the United States are permitted to register .us domain names. One of the three criteria listed below must be satisfied to be eligible for a .us domain name:

  • A real person whose main residence is in the USA or one of its territories.

  • An organization or entity that is structured or otherwise established in accordance with the legislation of one of the 50 states of the U.S., the District of Columbia, or any of the nation's assets or territories.

  • An individual, group, or organization with a legitimate or genuine presence in the US. Having a presence in the United States involves maintaining substantial legal relationships or participating in legal activities there. This rule seeks to restrict the registration of .us domain names to those who can verifiably hold significant connections to the United States.

5. Steps to Verify the Availability of Your Preferred Domain Name

Follow these steps to check if your desired domain name is available:

  1. Visit a domain name registrar website, such as Nominus.

  2. Locate the search box and enter the domain name you wish to register.

  3. Press the search button to check the availability of your chosen domain name.

  4. If your domain name is available, you may proceed with registration by following Nominus‘s instructions.

  5. If your preferred domain name is unavailable, Nominus will propose alternative options similar or related to your original choice.

6. Steps to Register a .US Domain Name with Nominus

Follow these steps to secure your .us domain name:

  1. Eligibility verification: Confirm that you meet the eligibility criteria for a .us domain registration, as outlined in section 4.

  2. Domain name selection: Using the Nominus domain search tool, choose a suitable domain name. Be sure to verify its availability.

  3. DNS configuration: Set up your Domain Name System (DNS) servers in advance. This ensures seamless access for visitors to your website upon registration.

  4. Payment for domain registration request: After confirming the availability of your chosen domain name, add it to your cart. Proceed to checkout using one of the accepted payment methods: Visa, Mastercard, AMEX, or PayPal.

  5. Documentation submission: For verification purposes, submit the necessary documents. Nominus will validate these documents to confirm that all requirements have been met before continuing with the registration.

  6. NTIA review: The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), a branch of the United States Department of Commerce, will evaluate your complete application. Upon approval, you can start using your newly registered .us domain name.

7. Can a Foreigner Register a .US Domain?

A foreigner can register a .us domain name but must meet the Nexus requirements described in section 4. A physical location, a post office box, or a registered representative are all acceptable forms of the domain name registrant's presence across the United States.

Normally, this condition is accomplished in the registration process by providing a legitimate mailing address in the United States.

8. Can a Foreign Company Register a .US Domain?

Foreign companies can register a .us domain if they meet specific Nexus requirements, meaning they must have a legitimate presence in the United States.

This presence can be established by:

  1. Regularly engaging in lawful activities (sales of goods or services or other business, commercial or non-commercial activity) in the United States.

  2. Maintaining an office or other property within the United States.

Like individuals, foreign companies must comply with all relevant laws and regulations related to trademarks and intellectual property rights.

A foreign company must provide proof such as a physical address or registered agent to verify their presence in the US.

9. Managing Your Domain Name Registration and Renewal

Here are important considerations to manage your .us domain name effectively:

  • Keep Your Contact Details Updated: Ensure your domain contact details are current to receive important domain notifications and simplify customer interactions.

  • Know Your Domain Expiration Date: Domain registrations typically last between one and ten years. Be aware of your domain's expiration date to renew it on time.

  • Use Auto-Renewal: Many registrars, including Nominus, offer an auto-renewal feature. Utilize this to prevent unexpected domain expirations.

  • Regular Backups: Conduct periodic backups of your website and domain settings. This proactive measure allows for a quick restoration in case of any issues.


A .us domain can significantly enhance your visibility and credibility in the US market. It's crucial to choose your domain carefully, meet the registration requirements, and manage your domain effectively. Consider registering your .US domain with Nominus.com, a reliable registrar, to secure your digital presence in the US market.