The purpose of this article is to acquaint readers with domain name basics and general requirements for the registration of domain names using the ".co.th" country code top-level domain name (ccTLD).

DOMAIN NAME BASICS

What are domain names?

Domain names are names that refer, and provide Internet connection, to a specific, individual website.

What symbols are used to represent website domain names?

The majority of domain names use letters of the Latin alphabet. Some domain names (and, therefore, websites) use letters from the alphabet or script of the local language.

How is a domain name related to business development?

In the globalized Internet age, domain names have become the main marketing and business development tool for virtually all types of enterprises. A domain name connects Internet users to an enterprise's website. It allows customers and partners alike to learn about an enterprise's products and services.

Selecting a suitable domain name that correctly communicates an enterprise's identity allows the enterprise to successfully present itself to the online world. As a result, the selection and protection of a business's domain name can have real impact on the business's success - both online and in the real world.

Is it necessary to have a domain name strategy?

Domain name strategies are strategies considered by businesses when selecting a domain name. In brief, good domain name strategies usually involve: the selection of a name relevant to the business, exploration of how domain name registrations can protect a company and the company's intellectual property, consideration of how to direct online traffic to the site, and consideration of the domain name and site from potential users' perspectives.

How should I choose a domain name?

Creating a domain name is like creating the website's address. Such names should reflect an enterprise's activities, products, and services.

Practically, the selection of a domain name should include considerations of relevant strategies designed to protect the company's rights, public image, and interests. If a company holds certain copyrights, trademarks, or other registered marks of commercial value, the domain name should reflect any such core business identity and intellectual property rights. Additionally, domain name selection should incorporate any domain name or online presence strategy used by the company.

Because domain names are relatively easy and cheap to register, it is recommended that companies register more than one domain name when possible.

REGISTRATION OF ".CO.TH" DOMAIN NAMES

What are the different types of domain names that can be registered for in Thailand?

The ccTLD for Thailand is ".th". The ccTLD is popularly used by multinational companies with offices in Thailand and by companies that wish to communicate their presence and commitment to consumers and partners in Thailand.

Different types of second level domains used with the ".th" ccTLD indicate the type of enterprise based in Thailand. The different types of second level domains used with the Thai ccTLD of ".th" include the following:

  • ".co.th" for juristic persons, such as companies and partnerships, registered in Thailand;
  • ".ac.th" for academic institutions in Thailand;
  • ".or.th" for non-profit organizations  and foundations in Thailand;  and
  • ".in.th" for individuals or organizations in Thailand.

A domain name is eligible for registration in Thailand if the name is not contrary to public order, not contrary to good morals, and is not otherwise prohibited by law. For rules on what a domain name can include, applicable to second and third level domain names (which would be the company name in a domain ending with ".co.th") see information at www.nineweb.co.th for a good guide.

How do I register for a ".th" domain name?

The registration and maintenance of all ".th" TLD domain names is done by a company called "THNIC" (www.thnic.co.th). The company has set forth requirements for the registration of second level and top level domain names under categories such as ".co.th", .in.th.", ".ac.th", ".go.th", ".net.th", ".or.th", and ".mi.th".

How can I register for a ".co.th" domain name?

There are two ways to register for a ".co.th" domain name: by basing the registration on a company's name or by basing the registration on marks owned by a company.

What are the requirements for registering a ".co.th" domain name based on a company name?

The requirements and limitations of registering a ".co.th" domain name based on a company name are as follows:

  • The domain name must be the same as the company name or the abbreviation of the company name.
  • A company name can be used to register only one ".co.th" domain name.
  • The company must either be registered in Thailand or have a local representative office in Thailand.
  • For companies registered in Thailand, the required documents are:
    • The registration document of the company or limited partnership (form Thor Khor 0401); or
    • The company's VAT registration (Form Por Por 20).
  • For foreign companies with a local office in Thailand:
    • The registration documents of the foreign company (including an English translation if the documents are not in English)
    • The registration document of the Thai company (the designated representative office)
    • A letter from the foreign company stating that the designated Thai representative company is (a) the representative company and is (b) allowed to use the foreign company's name in its domain name.

What are the requirements of registering a ".co.th" domain name based on trademarks and service marks?

The requirements and limitations of registering a ".co.th" domain name based on a trademark or service mark is as follows:

  • The domain name must be identical to the trademark or service mark (it cannot be abbreviated or extended);
  • A company may register as many trademarks or services marks with as many ".co.th" domain names as it owns trademarks or service marks.
  • The trademark or service mark must be registered in Thailand or abroad.
  • If the trademark was registered in Thailand, the trademark registration issued by the Intellectual Property Office is required.
  • If the trademark was registered outside of Thailand, the following are required:
    • A certificate of trademark registration (original and an English translation, if the original is not in English)
    • Registration document of the Thai company acting as the representative office;
    • A letter from the non-Thai owner of the trademark stating (a) that the Thai company is a designated representative company and that (b) the Thai company is given permission to use the trademark owner's trademark in their domain name.