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What is a .BR Domain

In Q3 of 2020, Brazil’s market penetration rate stood at 73.19%, which increased to 75.68% by Q3 of 2021. According to estimates, this figure is most likely going to increase in the coming years as the internet becomes a sensation in the Southern continent, as can be seen in the graph below.
 
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As this happens, several ‘dormant’ domains are also coming to light, including Brazil’s very own .BR domain. It is the dedicated internet country-code top-level domain for the country and is used to denote the nativity of websites, be it commercial (.com.br), network (.net.br), or government (.gov.br).

In this article, we will take a closer look at what the .br domain is, its history, and how you can register your own domain with the suffix in Brazil.

A simple search on Google to highlight all sites with the .br domain (site:.br) shows that as of November 2021, there are well over 3 billion websites using it. The domain denotes the Brazilian nativity of the website, much like +55 being the nation's dialing code.

Of course, there can be .com websites in the country as well, but how can .com websites tell audiences that they are in Brazil without mentioning it in the metas or being too obvious about it?

The domain is managed by the Brazilian Network Information Center (BNIC) and is available to legal 'persons' only. This includes entities registered with the government, such as:

  • Citizens (yes, you can get the .br domain for your website as well)

  • Registered companies

  • Governmental organizations and

  • Registered networks.

While the .com domain offers a free range to those who use it, the same cannot be said about the .br domain users. Just like the .gov domain, .BR domain has strict regulations and policies that users must follow.
 

Rules for .BR Domain

One of the biggest constraints for the domain is that those who use the domain must be located within Brazil and must submit their legal identification number as issued by the Secretaria da Receita Federal.

Furthermore, .BR domains registrations require you to establish at least four types of contacts;

  1. Owner

  2. Admin

  3. Technical department

  4. Billing

Out of the four, Owner and Billing points of contact must have a Brazilian address. The addresses mentioned for these two will be validated individually by the Registry.
 

Using .BR With or Without Extensions

It is important to note that you cannot use .BR domain directly after the website name but must be used as a suffix only. For example, braziliandomains.br is not permissible. Instead, you must use another extension first, i.e., braziliandomains.com.br.

Variations may include, but aren’t limited to:

  • .blog.br

  • .com.br

  • .eco.br

  • .net.br

  • .org.br (for non-profit organizations only)

  • .tv.br


    Registration on the network with special Portuguese characters (such as à, á, é, ê, í, ó, õ, ú, ü and ç) is permitted with the .BR domain.
     

Tip: The extension you use must reflect the nature of your business. This isn't for legal purposes but to ensure user-friendliness.
 

The History of .BR Domain

Created on April 18, 1989, by Jon Postel, an employee at the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). He is listed in the Internet Hall of Fame for making significant strides and influencing on how we perceive and use the internet.


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Jon Postel – The Founder of .BR domain.

The creation of this domain took around 5 years after top-level domain (TLDs) terminations like .com, .net, and .org were defined and became one of the country's most significant achievements in the digital space. This was even before Brazil had commercialized the internet in the country.

At first, the .BR domain was used exclusively for machine identification, specific to the academic environment. Years later, Postel delegated the domain’s management to Demi Getschko, CEO of NIC.br and an official member of the research group, who created a subdomain structure with .gov.br, .com.br, .org.br, and mil.br.

These subdomains were created specifically for government organizations, the army, and non-profit organizations. Today, the domain is one of the densest and most popular domains in the world, and is, therefore, one of the most difficult ones to register on.

 

.BR Domain Statistics

As mentioned above, .BR currently ranks as the most common Portuguese website suffix worldwide – so much so that it surpasses .com TLDs in Portuguese. 

According to a survey by W3, the market position of .BR domain in terms of the number of sites that are used it has decreased from 1.3% (November 2020) to 0.4% (November 2021), but at the same time, the number of visitors to .BR domain websites have increased considerably. .BR domain has been preferred by high-traffic sites (especially in Brazil) in the past year – even more than other TLDs.

Here is a graph to showcase the same on 20th November 2021.

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.BR domain Market Position 

Brazil uses 521 TLDs at the time of writing with over 3 million registered domains to its name. 60.24% domains out of this are registered with .BR, followed by .com, which stands at a Brazilian market share of just 27.97%.

The leading ccTLD as at April 2021 by the number of registered domains was .CN (China) with approximately 25.73 million registrations. which shows that while .BR domain is growing quickly with respect to the internet penetration of the country; it still has quite a way to go.

If we look at the top sites in Brazil, Alexa suggests that Google.com.br ranks third after Google.com and Youtube.com in the country, raking in 5.6% traffic from searches.

According to Cisco.com, internet traffic in Brazil will grow over 2.5 fold in the next decade (2021 to 2031) to over 4.5 Exabytes per month, up from 1.5 Exabytes per month in 2015-2020. This is mainly due to rapid digital adoption by businesses with nearly 9,000 monthly registrations since the start of 2021.

 

How to Register a .BR Domain – A Simple Guide

 

If you are a Brazilian resident:

  1. You can register your domain directly with Registro.br. Alternatively you can register it with Nominus.com
  2. To register your domain directly, go to registro.br 

  3. Type a domain name that you want to register with. For example, type brazildomains.com.br

  4. The site will tell you if your domain is already registered or can be used. If usable, you will see the following screen.

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If not, Registro will list a number of alternatives that you can use.
 

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Choose a name that you like and follow the instructions. The site will ask for your name, CPF/CNPJ and local address. 
 

If you are not a brazilian resident: 

  1. You must meet the "local presence requirement"; you or your company must have a physical location, a phone number, and a point of contact in brazil. You need a local representation service to meet the local presence requirements.   

  2. Visit Nominus.com to request a trustee service, the local representation service you need to meet local presence requirements. 

  3. The site will tell you if your desired name is available; if not, it will offer you domain name alternatives. 

  4. The site will ask for your name and address; then, it will let you select the trustee service and finish your .br domain registration.