Shorter .uk domains to be made available for registration

United Kingdom

This article was produced by Nabarro LLP, which joined CMS on 1 May 2017.

Summary and implications

Nominet, the UK’s registry operator, has announced that, from summer 2014,shorter .uk domain names − such as <> − will be made available for registration. This brings the UK in line with other country level domains (e.g. .fr and .de).

The move represents the biggest modification of the .uk namespace since its introduction and will affect the 10 million holders of existing third‑level UK domains (such as or who will need to consider whether to register equivalent .uk domains.

.uk domains available for registration

Holders of existing third level .uk domains (such as or will be offered the shorter equivalent of their existing domain registration. They will then have five years to decide whether they wish to use it in addition to, or instead of, their existing registration.

Where identical domain name extensions are owned by different parties (for example, one party owns <> and another owns <>), the registrant will be given priority.

Unique .uk domains, for which equivalent third-level extensions have not already been registered, will be made available on a first-come-first-served basis.


Nominet’s charges will be the same as for current domains: £3.50 for a single year or £2.50 per year for multi-year registrations.

What this means for you

All of Nominet’s existing domains (,,,,, and will continue unaffected.

A definitive launch date domains is expected to be announced by Nominet in February 2014, which has also committed to publish a major communication programme ahead of its introduction.

In the meantime, brand owners should carefully consider .uk domain extensions which may be of interest, ahead of the upcoming changes in 2014.