Domain Registration in Kenya (The Ultimate Guide)

In this article, we will discuss the process of domain registration in Kenya through the national registry service, Kenic. I will also show you the various domain registrars in Kenya of which you can register your domain name.

Ensuring an easily identifiable and accessible domain name is crucial for companies, brands, and individuals looking for visibility within Kenya, which is constantly increasing its online presence every year.

Kenic

The official registry administrator in Kenya for domains with the .ke, .co.ke ccTLD is known as Kenic. All domain registrations under .ke or co.ke must be done through Kenic or some of its Licenced registrars

Where do I register my domain name?

The complete process of registering a domain for a Kenyan site can usually be performed any of the licensed Kenic Registras. You can find the list below.

The first part of the process is to ensure that the domain name you are looking for is available for registration. This can be done through the search bar available on this page.

Good domain names registered in Kenya should follow the requirements listed below:

  • Have a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 26 characters
  • Contain only characters that number, letters of the Latin alphabet or certain accented letters: à, á, á, é, ê, í, ó, ô, ú, ü, ç
  • Can not contain just numbers
  • Can not start or end with a hyphen

Once the availability of the domain name is ensured, the legal registrant’s CPF or CNPJ number is required. This is an important part of the process, since this number will be linked to the domain registration, and its change requires submission of specific documentation to the Registro.br. This number becomes associated with the legal owner of the domain registrar.

The interested party cannot perform the domain registration in case of:

  • Delay in payments of the Registro.br
  • 20 or more pending or unpaid domain orders being processed

Once additional information such as the complete name of the person or company, physical address and phone number is provided, Registro.br requests the address of two or more DNS servers to activate the domain name. You can also choose to use the DNS servers provided by the Registro.br.

After completing this step, Registro.br requests payment of R $ 30 for the registration and if the interested party wishes to keep it for more than one year, R $ 27 will be added for each additional year.

The domain name is usually delegated within 30 minutes after finalization of the registration process in the Registro.br.

Domain Name Transfer between Owners

A domain name can be transferred from one owner to another after the transfer process is completed in the Registro.br.

This process requires the completion and printing of the transfer form found in the Registro.br. The form includes the individual’s CPF number or the company’s CNPJ number. A copy of the CNPJ document or official document containing the individual’s CPF number is also required. In the event that the transfer of a domain name occurs between companies, Registro.br requests the provision of one of the following documents by the current owner of the domain.

  • Current social contract
  • Statute and minutes of an election of the current board of directors
  • Entrepreneur’s petition or individual signature statement
  • Power of attorney, registered in a notary’s office, for the specific purpose of transferring ownership of the domain

The process, which is free, is completed within two days after receipt of the documentation required by the Registro.br.

Domain Registration for Foreign Companies

Foreign companies can register a domain in the Registro.br after the conclusion of a special registry. In such cases, an identification number is used instead of a CPF / CNPJ, which are normally used for domain name registration. This process requires the company to have a legal representative in Brazil.

The following documents are required for the registration of a domain by a foreign company in the Registro.br:

  • Power of attorney with signature recognized in the country of origin of the company, delegating powers to the prosecutor for domain registration, domain cancellation, transfer of domain ownership and transfer of the holder’s contact
  • Statement of the company’s commercial activity, with a firm, recognized in the country of origin of the companies, including the corporate name, full address, telephone number, corporate purpose, activities developed, name and position of legal representative
  • statement of commitment of the company assuming that it will definitely establish its activities in Brazil, within 12 months after receiving the letter
  • Consular legalization of the power of attorney, declaration of commercial activity and the declaration of commitment, to be held at the Brazilian Consulate in the country of origin of the company
  • Sworn translation of power of attorney, declaration of commercial activity and declaration of commitment
  • Copy in the CNPJ or the CPF of the procurator
  • Attorney’s office stating the foreign holder’s contact ID

Proxy templates and the company’s commitment statement are available on the Registro.br page.

These documents should be sent to the following address:

A / C Hostmaster – Registro.br

Subject: Foreign company registration

Av. Das Nações Unidas, 11541, 7th Floor

04578 – 000 – São Paulo – SP

The legal representative must also be registered in the Registro.br database. The billing address must be located in Brazil and the name of the foreign holder will only be changed by Registro.br.

Domain Name Release Process

Registro.br offers a process to release domain names that will be removed from their original owners due to cancellation, non-renewal or inability to follow the regulations.

Domain names must go through a public release process to ensure a fair outcome for those interested. In such cases, when the domain name is searched in the registry database.br a message will clarify the current situation of the object.

This process occurs three times a year and lasts 15 days. On each occasion the Registro.br announces in a dedicated space on your page with information regarding the beginning and end date, in addition to the remaining time.

Applicants interested in the name being released can register their interest at any time on the website.

At the end of the release process, a domain name can become:

  • Available for registration in case there is no interest of candidates
  • Sent to the only interested candidate
  • Not sent to anyone if you have multiple stakeholders

Domain names with more than one interested applicant during the release process will not be provided to any of them unless the candidate’s right to the name is proved.

These rights are recognized by the Registro.br through:

  • Provision of the registered trademark certificate issued by INPI, the National Intellectual Property Institute, with the exact name of the searched domain
  • Proof that the company name is identical to the released domain, including or not a reference to the activities performed by the company and its purpose, which must have been used for at least 30 months and should not be a generic word or expression such as description, color or location, or any term of the company identification

The company must declare its rights in case there are multiple candidates for the domain and contact the Registro.br in order to provide the necessary information at the end of the release process.

Registro.br advises companies not to declare the rights to a domain name if they are not able to prove the property rights since Registro.br has the right to punish false declarations.

If no candidate can prove ownership of the rights, the domain name will return to a new release process and can participate in up to six such processes. After this consecutive period of unsuccessful processes, CGI.br retains the name and keeps it unavailable indefinitely until further deliberation.

Second Level Domains

Registro.br allows the domain of a website to be included in categories that define its focus, activity or objective. There are some requirements for inclusion of the site depending on each category.

The categories and requirements are divided as shown below.

Generic (requires CPF or CNPJ):

  • com.br and net.br : commercial activities
  • eco.br : environmental activities
  • emp.br : small business

Individual (CPF Required):

  • name : individual
  • can.br : political candidate
  • blog.br : weblogs
  • flog.br : fotologs
  • vlog.br : videologs
  • wiki.br : information sites

Liberal Professionals (requires CPF):

  • adm.br : administrators
  • adv.br : lawyers
  • arq.br : architects
  • ato.br : actors
  • bio.br : biologists
  • bmd.br : biomedical
  • cim.br : realtors
  • cng.br : scenographers
  • cnt.br : counters
  • ecn.br : economists
  • eng.br : engineers
  • eti.br : IT specialists
  • fnd.br : speech therapists
  • fot.br : photographers
  • fst.br : physiotherapist
  • cgf.br : geographers
  • jor.br : journalists
  • lel.br : auctioneers
  • mat.br : mathematical and statistical
  • med.br : doctors
  • mus.br : musicians
  • not.br : notaries
  • ntr.br : nutritionists
  • odo.br : dentists
  • ppg.br : advertising and marketing professionals
  • pro.br : teachers
  • psc.br : psychologists
  • qsl.br : Radio amateurs
  • slg.br : sociologists
  • taxi.br taxi
  • teo.br : theologian
  • trd.br : translators
  • vet.br : veterinarians
  • zlg.br : zoologists

Companies – without restriction (requires CNPJ):

  • agr.br : agriculture
  • art.br : arts
  • esp.br : sports
  • far.br : pharmacy
  • imb.br : real estate
  • ind.br : industry
  • inf.br : media
  • radio.br : online audio broadcast
  • rec.br : recreation
  • srv.br : service providers
  • tmp.br : temporary events
  • tur.br : tourism companies
  • tv.br : companies of radiofusão of sounds and images
  • etc.br : companies that do not fall into the other categories

Companies – with restriction (requires CNPJ and additional documentation):

  • am.br : sound broadcasting companies (requires permission from ANATEL for AM broadcasting)
  • b.br : banks (requires Central Bank authorization)
  • coop.br : cooperatives (requires registration in the Organization of Brazilian Cooperatives)
  • edu.br : higher education institutions (requires declaration of activities provided by the Ministry of Education and proof that the name is not generic)
  • fm.br : sound broadcasting companies (requires ANATEL permission for FM transmission)
  • g12.br : primary and secondary education institutions (requires proof of the activities carried out by the institution)
  • gov.br : federal government institutions (requires proof that the institution is related to the Federal Government)
  • jus.br : institutions of the Judiciary (requires authorization from the National Council of Justice, or CNJ)
  • leg.br : institutions of the Legislative Power (requires proof that the institution is linked to the Legislative)
  • mil.br : Brazilian Armed Forces (requires authorization from the Ministry of Defense)
  • mp.br : public prosecution institutions (requires authorization from the Public Prosecutor’s Office)
  • org.br : non-profit NGOs (requires documentation to ensure that the organization is not government related and non-profit making)
  • psi.br : internet service providers (requires proof that the company provides internet access)

Domains that end only in .br exist, but are only available to educational institutions that had their domains created during the first years of the internet in Brazil, in the same way as institutions that promote the development of the internet in the country.

Domain Statistics

By far the most common second-level domains are those focused on commercial activities. The .com.br and net.br have together more than 94% of all domains registered in the Registro.br.

The second most used category is the Non-Governmental Organizations category. Sites with .org.br account for 1.4% of .br domain names.

All domain names for professionals, universities and individual websites total 2% combined. Private companies and government institutions also hold together 2% of total statistics.

The Method of Hosting Providers

Some hosting providers offer the service of registration and maintenance of domain names for clients who do not wish to submit to the process of Registro.br. Such providers current directly with the Registro.br

Companies wishing to become suppliers must integrate their services with the Registro.br through the EPP, or Extensible Provisioning Protocol, that guarantee rights to add, maintain or delete domain names.

A provider is obliged to contractually guarantee its clients the rights over their domain names. Domain names provided by providers follow the same rules of creation as those registered directly in the Registro.br.

It is possible that hosting providers provide small differentials in their name registration service. The most common is WHOIS privacy, something that is not offered by Registro.br.

How to Become a Hosting Provider

The Registro.br website explains the procedures necessary for those interested in becoming a hosting provider. This process requires a contractual agreement between Registro.br and the provider, as well as EPP integration.

Before signing a contract, the hosting provider must first create a system for interaction with the registration servers using an EPP client and other necessary specification extensions provided by the Registro.br.

When the EPP integration is completed the company must register in the environment of approval of Registro.br, a development environment created specifically to test the necessary EPP interactions.

Once established, the approval form with general information of the company must be signed. The EPP client provider must pass an EPP interaction test with maximum score. After sending the test results to Registro.br, a response will be provided within 48 hours.

With a successful result and approval, the service provider may send a form requesting the signing of a contract with the Registro.br. This agreement defines the rights and duties of domain owners, the hosting provider and CGI.br, granting the provider its due rights.

The provider must also pay in advance the cost of the number of transactions to be performed according to the Registro.br.

Reporting Irregularities

Registro.br alerts users about frequent irregularities related to payment of domain registration that occur in the country. The policy of transparency with respect to WHOIS data makes it easier for third parties to send all kinds of malicious charges related to domain registration, when in fact only the initial registration fee and annual maintenance are required.

When the owner has registered his domain directly with the Registro.br, the only way to pay such charges is through the bank’s ticket of the Registro.br website or by credit card. All types of charges received by mail for payment of domain name are considered infringements.

Users who deal with service providers should also pay attention to the payment of the domain name registration and to whom it is actually directed.