FAQ

I I would like to register an .ee domain. What do I have to do?

1. Why should I register a .ee domain?

.ee is the Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) reserved for Estonia and aimed at sharing information with Estonians. Search engines use a user’s location as a search parameter—for example, when a search engine sees a .ee website, it assumes the content is more relevant to Estonia than other countries, and ranks the site accordingly. No other top-level domain targets Estonians better than the .ee domain. Click here to watch a video explaining why you should register a .ee domain.

2. I would like to register an .ee domain. What do I have to do?

Use the WHOIS search function to see whether the domain name you want to use is available. You can do this on the Estonian Internet Foundation website at www.internet.ee. Choose a registrar accredited by the Estonian Internet Foundation and submit an application to register the domain through them. The list of registrars is available online at http://internet.ee/registrars/accredited-registrars.

3. What is WHOIS?

WHOIS, or domain lookup, is a service that provides basic information about a registered domain, such as the domain owner’s name (legal person) and contact information, the company with which the domain is registered (also called the Registrar), the registration and expiry dates of the domain name, the domain’s availability status, DNSSEC signature. WHOIS service also provides the possibility to contact the domain registrant in case of a natural person. The WHOIS domain lookup service is available at www.internet.ee. Please read more of the WHOIS Terms and Conditions here.

4. Who or what is a registrar?

A registrar is a company or agency authorised and accredited by the Estonian Internet Foundation which offers registration services to people looking to register domains. Most registrars are providers of Internet and server hosting services. Once you choose your registrar, they then provide you with all registration services, including domain renewal and data amendment. The list of authorised registrars is available online at http://internet.ee/registrars/accredited-registrars.

5. Who or what is a registrant?

A registrant is someone in whose name a domain is registered. A registrant can be an individual or a legal entity.

6. What is the registry?

The registry is the record of all local domains. In Estonia the registry is the Estonian Internet Foundation.

7. I would like to register an .ee domain. What do I need to submit to the registrar?

The information you need to submit in order to register a domain name is set out in point 4.1.1 of the domain regulations. This states that you must submit to the registrar the following:

a) the domain name you are applying for;
b) the contact details of your administrative contact, their personal identification code and the name of the country that issued it (or in the absence of the personal identification code – the date of birth and the name of the country of nationality), telephone number and e-mail address;
c) the contact details of your technical contact, including the name of the technical contact, their registry code or personal identification code and the name of the country which registered or issued it (or in the absence of the personal identification code – the date of birth and the name of the country of nationality), telephone number and e-mail address, in the case of a Registrant that is a legal person, their name, address of location, registry code, telephone number and e-mail address;
d) in the case of a legal entity, contact details including its name, address, registry code, the name of the country which registered it, telephone number and e-mail address;
e) in the case of a natural person, contact details including their name(s) and surname, personal identification code and the name of the country which issued it (or in the absence of the personal identification code – the date of birth and the name of the country of nationality), telephone number and e-mail address.

Please note: follow the instructions given by the registrar when submitting the application to register your domain name.

Please note: if the domain is being registered by a representative of the registrant (i.e. their administrative contact person), they must be authorised to do so in writing or have this right on the basis of Estonian law (e.g. as a member of a management board).

8. Can I register a domain without name servers?

Yes, you can. The Domain Regulation does not require that registrants submit two name servers for their domain. However, if the registrant wishes to actually use the domain (create a website, use the domain as an email address, etc.), they have to provide two name servers for the domain.

9. For how long a period can .ee domains be registered?

.ee domains can be registered for 3, 6, 9 months and 1-10 years. The registry fee in 2018 is €1,6, €3,2, €4,8 and €6 per year, depending on the length of the registration period.
The registry fee is the fee that registrars pay to the Estonian Internet Foundation for registering or renewing a domain. The price for the end-user, i.e. the registrant, is determined by the registrars on a free market. VAT will be added to the fee.

10. Who is the administrative contact and what part do they play?

An administrative contact (natural person) is a legal representative of the registrant and is authorised to arrange all registration services in the name of the registrant. The administrative contact must be authorised in writing to act on behalf of the registrant in all matters related to the domain. If the registrant is a legal entity, the administrative contact is the person who orders the registration services from the registrar. If the registrant is an natural person, they normally also act as the administrative contact. The administrative contact does not have the right to delegate the authorisation. The administrative contact is responsible for the correctness and genuineness of the data and documents submitted about him/her and the registrant.

11. Who is the technical contact and what part do they play?

The technical contact person has the right to amend name server data for domains with which they are associated. If the registrant is using the services of a web hosting provider, we recommend that they appoint a representative of the provider as the technical contact person for their domains. At the same time, if the registrant manages their own servers, they can appoint themselves as the technical contact person.

12. Do applications to register domains need to be signed?

Yes. Point 4.1.2 of the domain regulations states that domain registration is one of the four registration services that requires the registrant or their administrative contact to sign their application. The regulations provide four ways of signing applications. They are:

a) digital signing using an Estonian ID card or the Mobile ID;b) signing in handwriting in the presence of a representative of the registrar (i.e. at the registrar’s office or a customer service location); 
b) digital signing using an ID card of a foreign state accepted by EIF (complete list of accepted foreign digital IDs can be found HERE);
c) paying the registrar for the registration service from the bank account of the registrant or their administrative contact, noting on the payment order the reference number assigned to this application by the Registrar and the corresponding domain name or the number of the invoice issued by the registrar that includes the relevant domain name; or
d) paying the registrar for the registration service by separate transfer from the PayPal account registered in the name of the registrant or the administrative contact and verified by PayPal and specify in the details of payment the relevant domain name or the number of the invoice issued by the registrar showing the relevant domain name. The Registrar has the right to request from the registrant additional proof regarding the verification of the PayPal account.

13. Are there any restrictions on the choice of domain names?

Yes. The domain regulations set out a number of restrictions on the format of domain names:

a) they can only contain letters, numbers (0-9) and hyphens (-);
b) the minimum length of a domain name is 2 symbols and the maximum length is 63 symbols;
c) no distinction is made in domain names between upper and lower case letters; and
d) a domain name cannot begin or end with a hyphen and cannot contain hyphens as both the third and fourth symbols.

14. What kinds of registration services do registrars provide?

According to the domain regulations, there are seven types of registration services, all of which can be provided by or arranged through registrars. They are:

a)registration of domain names;
b)deletion of registrations;
c)renewal of registrations;
d)transferring of domain names;
e)updating of contact details;
f)management of name server records; and
g)changing registrars.

15. What should I do if my service provider isn’t accredited with the Estonian Internet Foundation as a registrar?

You must choose an accredited registrar for registration services of .ee domain names. The foundation has no requirements in terms of other services (including mail servers and web hosting), which you are free to choose.

16. Why is it not possible to register a domain name with EIS?

Registration of a .ee domain name uses a two-tier system in which EIS has delegated the provision of the registration service to registrars. A registrar is a domain name registration service provider that is formally accredited by EIS and has signed a registry agreement. Registrars provide.ee domain name registration services: domain name registration, renewal, amendment, deletion, etc. Unlike other service providers operating in the market, accredited registrars are subject to supervision by EIS.

17. I would like to register a second domain in my company’s name and another in my own name. Is that possible?

Yes, it is. Due to the liberalisation of the requirements, both companies and individuals can now register an unlimited number of domains in their own names.

18. Can foreign companies and private persons register a .ee domain?

Yes, companies and private persons not registered in Estonia can register a .ee domain name. Rule 4.1.1 c of the Domain Regulations requires the registrant to submit the following data of the administrative contact for the domain to be registered: name, their personal identification code and the name of the country that issued it (or in the absence of the personal identification code – the date of birth and the name of the country of nationality), telephone number and e-mail address.

19. How is the final cost of .ee domains worked out?

The cost of annual registration of a domain is determined by the registrar. The registry sets a uniform base fee for all registrars (€1,6, €3,2, €4,8 and €6 per year in 2018, depending on the length of the registration period). The final cost is influenced by competition on the market, which is why it may end up being lower than the base fee, or the same as it, or higher.

20. Are domain names that use letters with diacritics (ä, ö, ü, õ, š, ž) charged at the same rates?

The cost of registering domain names containing letters with diacritics (õ, ä, ö, ü, š, ž) is the same as per ordinary domain names. The registry sets a uniform base fee for all registrars ( €1,6, €3,2, €4,8 and €6 per year in 2018, depending on the length of the registration period). The cost of annual registration of a domain is determined by the registrar. The registry sets a uniform base fee for all registrars. The final cost is influenced by competition on the market, which is why it may end up being lower than the base fee, or the same as it, or even higher.

21. Can I use a domain with diacritics (ä, ö, ü, õ, š, ž) in an e-mail address?

As many e-mail programmes today still lack support for domain names containing letters with diacritical marks, it is not yet recommended to use such e-mail addresses. You can instead reproduce the domain with diacritics using the punycode solution (for instance, the punycode for info@täpitähtedegadomeen.ee is info@xn--tpithtedegadomeen-qqbd.ee), but in this case the domain name spelling becomes more complicated.

22. What are the general domains that form part of the top-level .ee domain?

General domains are used to group and distinguish the domain names of individuals and institutions with similar traits. They are:

a)com.ee – companies (incorporated entities) as defined in the Commercial Code;
b)pri.ee – individuals;
c)fie.ee – self-employed people (sole proprietors) as defined in the Commercial Code; and
d)med.ee – medical/health care institutions.

23. Do I have to pay to register a domain name under general domains?

Yes. The registration of all domain names under general domains is subject to a fee as per the registration of domains under the top-level .ee domain. The cost of registering general domain names is the same as when you register ordinary .ee domain names.

24. What is a subdomain and how does it differ from a general domain?

According to the Domain Regulations, a subdomain is a marking to the left of the top level domain .ee, separated by a period. An unlimited number of subdomains can be registered under a top level domain. For example, the FAQ of the Estonian Internet Foundation could be located at http://faq.internet.ee. Subdomains are administered by the owner of the domain in question. The owner of the domain can use subdomains for purposes such as specific subject subpages. The domain owner can also offer the opportunity to register a subdomain under their domain for a fee or free of charge. Further information can be found here.

25. Is it possible to register a subdomain free of charge and if yes, who can do it?

Yes, subdomains can be registered free of charge by private persons and educational, scientific or cultural institutions. Private persons can register free subdomains under the domains era.ee and eesti.ee. Educational, scientific and cultural institutions can register domains for free through the domains edu.ee, lib.ee, org.ee and vil.ee that belong to EENet (the Estonian Education and Research Network). Further information can be found here.

II Other services related to registering domains

26. Do I need to submit an application to renew my domain like I did when I registered it?

No, you do not need to submit or sign a separate application form to renew a domain. You simply need to inform your registrar of your wish to do so and pay the renewal fee. Most registrars send their clients reminders that they need to renew their domains.

27. What happens to domains if the registrants forget to renew them?

You can renew your registration at any time by informing your registrar of your wish to do so. The Estonian Internet Foundation commences deletion proceedings in regard to any domain names that are not renewed. These proceedings last for 45 days, during which time the registrant can inform their registrar of their wish to renew their domain. Deletion proceedings comprise a number of stages. First, a note is made in the WHOIS database that the domain name has expired. During the subsequent expiry period (15 days), the website and e-mail system operating under the domain remain fully accessible. If the domain is not renewed during the expiry period, it and its name server records are blocked. This means that the domain (e.g. the website or e-mail address) is no longer available online. This status remains in force for a further 30 days and is designed to give the individual who registered the domain a final chance to contact their registrar and renew it should they wish to do so. A note of this is made in the WHOIS database, which can be viewed via the Estonian Internet Foundation website. If the registrant still has not renewed the domain by the end of the 30-day deletion period, the domain name is deleted from the registry and ‘quarantined’ for a period of up to 24 hours. After this the domain name becomes available once more and is registered in the name of the first registrant to submit a correct application (i.e. on a first come, first served basis).

28. What should I do if I want to delete my .ee domain?

If you do not want to renew your domain registration, you need to submit a signed application to your registrar to delete the domain. After this, once the registrar has forwarded the application to the registry, the 30-day period of deletion proceedings begins in regard to the domain, at the end of which and after a further period of up to 24 hours of ‘quarantine’ the domain name is deleted from the register. During the period of deletion proceedings the registrant can still reclaim their domain.

29. What should I do if I want to transfer my domain to another person?

When transferring a domain name, the person to whom it is being transferred must submit an application to the registrar of the current registrant stating their wish to register the domain in question in their name. This application must include all of the information normally required to register a domain as well as signed consent from the current registrant to transfer the domain to the new person. In accordance with point 5.3.6.3 of the domain regulations, this application must be signed using one of the options described in point   i.e. it must bear a digital signature, handwritten signature given in the presence of the registrar’s representative or signed digitally using an ID card of a foreign state accepted by EIF. List of accepted foreign ID-cards can be found HERE

30. Can I change registrars?

Yes, you can. Registrars must not impede their clients if they wish to change registrars. For example, they cannot bind the provision of domain registration services to the use of other services which they provide. Registrants are free to choose and change registrars at any time.

31. I would like to change registrars. What do I need to do?

To change registrars you will need to ask your current registrar for your domain’s authorisation code. This must then be submitted to your new registrar, who will use it to amend the registry data and officially become the new registrar of your domain.

32. I would like to change my domain’s name servers. What do I have to do?

Changing name servers is one of the seven registry services that can be provided by a registrar. The person who registered the domain or the administrative or technical contact person are authorised to make such a change. (This is the only registration service that the technical contact person can independently arrange.)

33. What is the registrant’s portal?

The registrant’s information portal provides a comprehensive overview of all domains associated with you, regardless of the registrar with which the domain name has been registered. NB In the portal, you will see the domain names for which you have been indicated as the administrative contact, technical contact or private registrant. In order to obtain information about the domains linked to your company through the portal, please contact your registrar to add your name to the administrative contacts for your domains. (Multiple administrative contacts may be indicated for one domain name)

III DNSSEC security extention

34. What is DNSSEC?

Domain name system security extensions (DNSSEC) are a set of security protocols that ensure that when users enter the domain name’s URL in their browser, they reach the real IP address of the website they seek. For example, when a user enters the URL of their internet banking service provider in a browser, DNSSEC will ensure that the user is not sent to a similar-looking malicious website set up by a fraudster to steal passwords and private data. Click HERE to see a video explaining DNSSEC.

35. What is Full-Service DNSSEC?

When subscribing to Full-Service DNSSEC, domain name owners no longer need to worry about setting up and managing a DNSSEC infrastructure, creating security keys, or protecting private keys. This is the responsibility of the service provider. Full-Service DNSSEC means that a registrar or a provider of name server services has the capacity to create and manage DNSSEC security protocols, alongside forwarding security keys.

36. How can I subscribe to the Full-Service DNSSEC?

A list of accredited .ee registrars providing Full-Service DNSSEC is available in the comparison table on the internet.ee homepage (Full-Service DNSSEC providers are marked with an asterisk) or at www.internet.ee/dnssec/kes-pakub-dnssec-taisteenust. Full-Service DNSSEC providers may or may not charge extra for the service.

37. How can I check a DNSSEC validation?

You can check a DNSSEC validation yourself or have others to do that. For detailed instructions, see HERE.

IV Domain Disputes Committee

38. What is the Domain Disputes Committee?

Situations can arise in registering domains in which individuals who are not acting in good faith attempt to register names. This is known as ‘domain name hijacking’. In order to prevent this unlawful activity, a domain disputes committee (hereafter referred to as the DDC) has been founded as part of the Estonian Internet Foundation. The DDC is neither a court nor a tribunal, but a specialised independent body operating as part of the foundation that is charged with the task of resolving disputes related to .ee domain names. Its activities are regulated by the rules of the DDC.

39. Under what circumstances can I lodge a complaint with the DDC?

If you feel that someone has registered a domain name, without your consent, that is similar to your brand or trademark or to your name or the registered name of your company, you can lodge a complaint with the committee.

40. What should I do if I want to lodge a complaint with the DDC?

Draw up your complaint in accordance with point 5 of the DDC rules. You should provide evidence supporting your claims and also pay the committee fee. Your complaint must be signed digitally. Submit your complaint by e-mail to vaidlus@internet.ee. A detailed description and the requirements of proceedings to resolve disputes are set out in the rules of the DDC.

41. How much are the DDC fees?

DDC fees are used solely for the organisation of the work of the committee, covering the working fees of the people involved (2/3) and the work of the secretariat (1/3). The fees can be viewed online HERE.

42. What happens if the DDC upholds my complaint?

If the committee feels that a complaint is valid, the domain name violating your rights is either deleted or transferred to you, depending on which of the two decisions you seek from the DDC in the course of the dispute proceedings.

43. Partial reimbursement of the Domain Dispute Committee fee

If parties to a dispute reach an agreement concerning a domain name or the applicant withdraws their application, 50 per cent of the DDC fee will be reimbursed to the applicant.

V General

44. Who should I talk to if I have problems with my registered domain?

If you encounter any problems with a domain (or service), please contact your registrar.

45. Who should I talk to if I have problems with web hosting?

If you experience any problems with web hosting (or the server on which your website and/or e-mails are located), please contact your web hosting service provider.

46. How can I check who my registrar or web hosting service provider is?

You can find out who your registrar or web hosting service provider is by doing a WHOIS search on the website of the Estonian Internet Foundation. Web hosting service providers are not directly indicated in WHOIS, although you can normally determine the provider by looking at the names of the domain name servers.

47. What actions should be taken with a .ee domain belonging to a legal person before the person is deleted from the Business Registry?

If the owners wish to keep the domain name, a transfer of the domain name has to be carried out before the company is deleted from the Business Registry. In the course of the transfer, the receiver of the domain has to submit an application to the transferring registrant’s registrar, informing the registrar of the wish to register the domain under his/her name. The application must contain all the usual data required for a domain registration as well as the transferring registrant's signed consent to forfeit the domain in favour of the receiving registrant. When the domain name is transferred, the transferring registrant is substituted by the receiving (new) registrant.

If the owners do not wish to keep the domain name, a signed application for deleting the domain should be submitted to the registrar. After the registrar has forwarded the application to the registry, a 30-day domain delete procedure will start, followed by a quarantine period that will last for up to 24 hours; subsequently, the domain will be deleted from the registry.

48. Can a domain name be inherited?

Yes, the Domain Regulation provides for the possibility to inherit a domain name. In this case, the successor should submit a notarised document to the registrar confirming their rights as a successor. A will, marriage certificate, etc. will not be regarded as proof of the right of succession. Where EIS becomes aware that more than six months have elapsed since the death of a domain name owner and no right of succession has been exercised concerning the domain name, EIS will initiate the procedure for the deletion of the domain name. In this instance, the legal successor may request that the domain name be transferred within the 30-day period of the deletion procedure. If the domain name is deleted, it will become available on a “first come, first served” principle.

49. Where can I file a complaint regarding the content of or activities related to a .ee website?

While a domain name is a necessary tool for creating a website, these are two separate services. While.ee domain names are registered by Eesti Interneti SA (EIS), hosting services are provided by the service providers, and the website’s owner/administrator is responsible for the content of the website. EIS only exercises supervision over .ee domain names, not the information published on websites or the activities related to websites. We will now provide an overview of the authorities you can contact to request that a website be closed or to file a complaint. a. If a website publishes any materials that you claim to be infringing your copyright (your creative works, etc.) or publishes false information about you, you can seek legal redress from the courts under the applicable national legislation. We recommend involving a legal professional to order to solve the problem. b. If the false information about you concerns a serious offence, such as identity theft, publication of inappropriate images or videos, or any other malicious activity that you become aware of, we recommend you report the offence to the police. c. If a website is found to be distributing viruses or malware, or is involved in other cyber incidents, we advise you report the website to the Estonian Information System Authority (CERT Estonia, an organisation responsible for the management of security incidents). See more here.

50. When can EIS delete a .ee domain name?

According to the Domain Regulation, EIS may delete a domain name in cases specifically related to the registration of the domain name. This may be done, for example, where EIS has not received an application for registration in accordance with the Domain Regulation, or the identity and/or intention of the representative of the registrant or the registrant’s representative are not verified in conformity with the Domain Regulation. This may also be the case where the email addresses provided by the registrant are not correct. Moreover, EIS may delete a domain name on a duly substantiated request by public authorities. The relevant authority must clarify why the domain name should be deleted. EIS will assess whether the deletion is proportional with regard to the registrant.