In this article we’ll cover the process of registering a domain name for a Brazilian webpage by the country’s name registration service, Registro.br.
Ensuring an easily identifiable and accessible domain name is crucial for companies, brands and individuals that seek visibility to the Brazilian public, which steadily increases its presence on the internet each passing year.
Brazil's official registry administrator for domain names under the .br ccTLD is named Registro.br. The registry administrator belongs to the The Brazilian Network Information Center known as NIC.br. This center is the executive arm of the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee known as CGI.br.
All domain registrations under .br must be done through Registro.br or one of their certified registrars. However, Registro.br’s website is not available in English.
The registration process
The complete process of registering a domain name for a Brazilian website can be done at the registro.br page without interacting with a registrar.
The first part of the process is to assure the domain name you seek is available for registration.This can be done by entering the desired address on the domain search page.
Domain names registered at Registro.br must conform to the following rules:
- Have a minimum of two and maximum of 26 characters
- Only contain characters that are numbers, latin letters or certain accented letters: à, á, â, ã, é, ê, í, ó, ô, õ, ú, ü, ç
- Do not contain only numbers
- Do not start or end on an hyphen
Once the desired domain name is assured to be available, a CPF or CNPJ number of the legal registrant is required. This is an important part of the process, as this number will be linked to the domain registration, and changing it requires documentation to be sent to Registro.br. This number becomes associated as the legal owner of the domain registration.
A registrant is not allowed to register a domain in the case of:
- Overdue payments to Registro.br
- 20 or more pending or unpaid domain orders currently being processed
Once additional information, like full name of the person or company, physical address and phone number, is provided, Registro.br asks for the address of two or more DNS servers to resolve the domain name. You can also choose to use the DNS servers that Registro.br provide.
After this is step is completed, Registro.br requires the payment of BRL 30 for the registration and if the registrant wishes to register for over one year, an amount of BRL 27 is added for each additional year.
The domain name is usually delegated within 30 minutes after the registration process is completed at Registro.br.
Domain name transfer between owners
A domain name can be transferred from one owner to another after a transfer process is completed at Registro.br.
This process requires a transfer form found at Registro.br to be printed and completed. This form will include the individuals’ CPF number or the companies’ CNPJ number. A copy of CNPJ document or official document containing the individual CPF number is also required. In case the transfer of domain name occurs between companies, Registro.br asks for ONE of the following documents to be provided by the current domain owner.
- Current articles of association
- Current board of directors statute and record
- Sole entrepreneur form, known as Requerimento de empresário, or individual company declaration
- Power of Attorney registered in notary office regarding the specific purpose of transferring the domain name
This process is completed within two days after the necessary document is received by Registro.br and is free of charge.
Domain name registration for foreign companies
Foreign companies can register a domain at Registro.br after a special registration is completed. For foreigners, an identification number is used instead of the CPF / CNPJ number normally used with register a domain name. This process requires the company to have a representative in Brazil.
The following documents are required for the registration of a foreign company at Registro.br:
- Power of attorney with notarized signature granting the representative the rights to perform domain registrations, domain cancellations, and ownership transfers
- Commercial activity declaration with notarized signature issued by the country of origin containing the company name, complete address, telephone number, business activities, name and position of the legal representative
- Commitment letter with notarized signature issued by the country of origin that assures the company will establish activities in Brazil within 12 months after the letter is received
- Consular legalization of the Power of Attorney, Commercial activity declaration and commitment letter issued by the local Brazilian consulate
- Sworn translation of the Power of attorney, Commercial activity declaration and Commitment letter
- Copy of representative’s CPF or CNPJ
- Attorney letter providing the ID handle of the foreign domain owner
These documents must be sent to the following address:
A/C Hostmaster - Registro .brAssunto: Cadastro de empresa estrangeiraAv. das Nações Unidas, 11541, 7° andar
04578-000 - São Paulo - SP
The representative must also be registered in the Registro.br database. The billing address must be in Brazil and the company name of the foreign holder will only be able to be altered by Registro.br.
Domain names release process
Registro.br offers a process for domain names that are discharged from their original owners because of cancellation, non-renewal or failure to follow regulation.
These domain names must go through a public release process to guarantee a fair result to those who seek them. In these cases, when the domain name is looked up on the Registro.br database a message will clarify it is currently pending or undergoing release.
This process occurs three times a year and last for 15 days. On each occasion Registro.br announces an application window with a start date and time and end date and time in advance.
Candidates who pursue the name being release can register their interest at any time during the application window.
At the end of the release process a domain name may end up:
- Available for registration in case there are no interested candidates
- Provided to the single candidate that seek it
- Not provided to anyone if there are multiple interested candidates
Domain names with more than one interested candidate during the release process will not be provided to either one unless it is proven that a candidate has the rights to the name.
These rights are specified by Registro.br as:
- providing the trademark certificate issued by the Brazilian Industrial Property Institute, or INPI, with the exact name as the domain pursued
- proving the company name is identical to the domain undergoing release, including or not a reference to the company activities or objective, which must have been used by the company for more than 30 months and must not be a generic word or expression, such as a description, colour or location, or a single term from the company’s identification
The company must declare the rights in case there are multiple candidates for the domain and contact Registro.br to provide the necessary information at the end of a release process.
Registro.br advises companies not to declare the rights to a domain name if they can’t proof for the ownership rights, as the organization reserves the right to punish false claims.
If no candidate manages to prove possession to the rights, the domain name returns to a new release process and it can participate in up to 6 release processes. After this period of consecutive unsuccessful processes, the Internet Steering Committee, or CGI.br, takes the name out of availability and holds it for an undetermined period until further deliberation.
Registro.br allows for the website domain to be included in categories that define its focus, activity or objective. There are some requirements for the inclusion of the website depending on each category.
The categories and requirements are divided as follows.
Generic (requires CPF or CNPJ)
- com.br and net.br: commercial activities
- eco.br: environmental activities
- emp.br: small business
Individual (requires CPF)
- nom.br: individuals
- can.br: political candidates
- blog.br: web logs
- flog.br: photo logs
- vlog.br: video logs
- wiki.br: wiki websites
Independent professionals (requires CPF)
- adm.br: managers
- adv.br: lawyers
- arq.br: arquitects
- ato.br: actors
- bio.br: biologists
- bmd.br: biomedics
- cim.br: real estate brokers
- cng.br: cenographers
- cnt.br: accountants
- ecn.br: economists
- eng.br: engineers
- eti.br: IT specialists
- fnd.br: speech terapists
- fot.br: photographers
- fst.br: physical therapists
- cgf.br: geographers
- jor.br: journalists
- lel.br: auctioners
- mat.br: mathematicians and statisticians
- med.br: medics
- mus.br: musicians
- not.br: notaries
- ntr.br: nutricionists
- odo.br: dentists
- ppg.br: marketing and publicity professionals
- pro.br: teachers
- psc.br: psychologists
- qsl.br: amateur radio broadcasters
- slg.br: sociologists
- taxi.br: taxi drivers
- teo.br: theologists
- trd.br: translators
- vet.br: veterinaries
- zlg.br: zoologists
Companies - unrestricted (requires CNPJ):
- agr.br: agriculture
- art.br: arts
- esp.br: sports
- far.br: pharmacy
- imb.br: real state companies
- ind.br: industry
- inf.br: information media
- radio.br: online audio transmission
- rec.br: entertainment activities
- srv.br: service providers
- tmp.br: temporary events
- tur.br: tourism companies
- tv.br: tv transmission companies
- etc.br: companies that don’t fit into any other category
Companies - restricted (requires CNPJ and additional documentation):
- am.br: radio broadcasting companies (requires ANATEL permit for AM broadcasting)
- b.br: banks (requires authorization from Banco Central)
- coop.br: cooperatives (requires proof of registry at Organização das Cooperativas Brasileiras)
- edu.br: universities (requires activity description provided by Ministry of Education and proof that the name is not generic)
- fm.br: radio broadcasting companies (requires ANATEL permit for FM broadcasting)
- g12.br: first and second-level educational institutions (requires proof of the institution activity)
- gov.br: federal government institutions (requires proof that the institution is related to the federal government)
- jus.br: judiciary power institutions (requires authorization from Nacional Justice Council, or CNJ)
- leg.br: legislature institutions (requires proof that the institution is related to the legislature)
- mil.br: Brazilian Armed Forces (requires authorization from the Ministry of Defense)
- mp.br: prosecution office institutions (requires authorization from the prosecution office)
- org.br: non-profit NGO’s (requires documentation that assure the organization is not related to government and does not seek profit)
- psi.br: internet service providers (requires proof the company provides internet access)
Domains that end solely on .br exist but are only available for the education institutions that had domains established during the first years of internet in Brazil as well as institutions that promote the development of internet in Brazil.
By far the most common second-level domains are the ones focused on commercial activities. The .com.br and .net.br together make for more than 94% of all domains registered with Registro.br.
The second most used domain category is the one for Non-Government Organizations. The .org.br websites represent 1,4% of .br domain names.
All domain names for independent professionals, universities and individuals websites combined account for around 2%. Private companies and government-related institutions also add to 2% of total statistics.
The Registrar model
Some hosting providers offer the service of registering and maintaining domain names for clients who do not wish to go through the process at Registro.br.
These companies are normally referred to as registrars but in Brazil they are only described as hosting providers and deal directly with Registro.br.
Companies that wish to become registrars must integrate their services with Registro.br through EPP, or Extensible Provisioning Protocol, that grants rights to adding, maintaining or deleting domain names.
A registrar is contractually obliged to grant to their clients the rights to their domain names. Domain names assigned by registrars follow the same rules for creation as those registered directly with Registro.br.
It is possible for registrars to provide minor differentials on their name registration service. Most common is whois privacy, something that is not offered by Registro.br.
How to become a Registrar
The Registro.br website outline the process of becoming a registrar. This process requires a contractual agreement between Registro.br and the registrar as well as certification of the EPP integration.
Before signing a contract, the hosting provider must first create a system for interaction with the registration servers by using a EPP client and necessary extensions specifications submitted by Registro.br.
When the EPP integration is completed the company must also register themselves at the Registro.br homologation environment, a development environment designed specifically for the testing of necessary EPP interactions.
Once this is settled, a homologation form with general information regarding the company must be signed. The provider’s EPP client must pass an EPP interaction test with a perfect score. After submitting the test’s results to Registro.br an answer will be provided within 48 hours.
With a successful result and approval, the service provider is able to send a form requesting a contract to be signed with Registro.br. This contract defines the duties and rights of the domain owners, the hosting provider and the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee, granting the provider the rights to becoming a registrar.
The registrar must also pre-pay for the budgeted number of transactions according to Registro.br regulation.
Registro.br warns users about the frequent scams related to domain registration payment that occur in Brazil. The open policy around whois data make it easy for third parties to claim all kinds of malicious charging for domain registration when in fact only the initial fee and the annual maintenance are required.
When the domain owner have registered the domain directly with Registro.br, the only way to pay for those charges is to get a Boleto from Registro.br’s website or by credit card. All kinds of billing received by mail regarding domain name payments are to be considered scam.
Users that deal with service providers must also pay close attention to the charging for domain registration and to whom those are directed to.