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European domains: France (.fr)

French Domain Name Check: When entering your search string don't write “www” or the French domain type, ie. “fr”. Therefore to search “” enter “nominate” and nothing else.

The only letters allowed within a domain name are: a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z - 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9. Spaces are NOT ALLOWED.


To register search for its availabilty in the box above and then buy domain names.

Once the domain is registered

All French domain names registered with us are stored on our international server. Domains registered with us are automatically provided with their own under-construction page - this notifies potential registrants that the name has been acquired and is now registered. The under-construction page is offered free of charge and may be used indefinitely.

It is possible for Web and/or Mail forwarding to be provided for French domains.

Domain transfer/release fees are charged are by a majority of registrars, but Nominate make no charge to transfer a domain to another French domain name registrar.


The Country Code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) for France is .fr. It is managed by the Association Française pour le Nommage Internet en Coopération (AFNIC) who also take control of registrations for the .re (Reunion Island) and .tf domain names.

Before AFNIC, INRIA (the Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique, France, the French Computer Science Research Institute) administered the ccTLD .fr in. This was due to the Stanford Research Institute's Network Information Center and for this reason, INRIA therefore became known as NIC-France. At first it was to help with research by the research and development community.

During the year 1992, a demand increased for domain names and for this reason NIC-France opened up to anyone who wished to connect with the Internet. In 1994, the commercial expansion of the Internet meant that it was necessary to create a NIC Consultative Committee (CC-NIC). It consisted of representatives from INRIA and from each service Provider (ISP) which held an international infrastructure during this time.

Following on to 1995, the committee grew and for this reason, many Internet Service Providers joined in the so called 'naming charter'. It was created in order to set out rules for the ccTLD .fr, focusing on property issues for the first time. In January, 1998, AFNIC took over from NIC-France. It is an association governed by the French Law. They wished to be more prepared to answer to the future needs of its members and for this reason a flexible management structure was developed. This was not possible in a research institute.

In June, 2001, AFNIC allowed the registration of domain names under the ccTLD .re. This was under the request of the French government. The control of the ccTLD .tf for the French Southern and Antarctic Territories (TAAF) was under the management of the British company AdamsNames. French authorities requested this management to be transferred to AFNIC in October, 2004.

There are a number of second-level domain names which can be registered under .fr. These are as follows:

  • : For use by associations. To receive an authorisation code for this domain name, an applicant must send AFNIC stating the full name of the association and the number of the department in which the association has been declared in the SIRENE enterprise database.
  • : For any applicant yet justification for the name must be provided.
  • : For the use of the French Administration and French Governmental Institutions. Documents are necessary to authorise an applicants right for this domain name. An identifier number in the SIRENE enterprise dictionary or any official document identifying the entity must be provided.
  • : For surnames.
  • : For different Research and Development Programs.
  • : For use by the Press for Publications
  • : For those who own trademarks. This trademark must be registered or part of the 'trademark field'. Documents must be provided in registration for proof of owning a trademark. These are: The Trademark Registration application, validated by the INPI (French National Institute of Industrial Property), the WIPO certificate or OHIM. France must be included in the list of countries for registration.

The following sub-domains are also available and an Identifier number in the SIRENE enterprise Directory must be shown as a supporting document for each of these domains:

  • agglo-"name".fr / "name" is the name of the metropolitan area / Use for Metropolitan areas.
  • cc-"name".fr / "name" is the official name of the community of communes / For use of Communities of Communes.
  • cg-"xx".fr / "xx" is the number or name of the officially declared department / For use by Department Councils.
  • cr-"name".fr / "name" is the official name of the region / For use by Regional Councils.
  • mairie-"name".fr and ville-"name".fr / "name" is the official name of the town or village / For use by Towns and villages.

An Applicant is able to use the .fr domain name for 12 months from the last operation invoiced to the registrar by AFNIC. Domain names can be automatically renewed but can be changed it instructions tell differently.

Following Criteria must be followed when choosing a name for the ccTLD .fr. These are as follows:

  • Domain names can contain characters from the French Alphabet (a-z).
  • Domain names can contain all digits (0-9).
  • Domain names can contain a hyphen (-). The name cannot begin or end with a hyphen, nor can the third and fourth characters.
  • Domain names cannot contain more than 255 characters.
  • Domain names cannot be a fundamental term.
  • Domain names cannot comply with foregoing syntax constraints.
  • Domain names cannot infringe on the rules of fair competitions and best business practices.
  • Domain names cannot infringe third-party rights such as family names.
  • Domain names cannot go against the French Press Freedom Act 1881 and it cannot be likely to harm the physical, mental or moral development of children, it cannot undermine the name, image and/or reputation of the French Republic and its national institutions.

Nominate providing domain name checks & international domain names since 1997