What is a valid domain name? 

Elements of a domain name

A domain name is made up of at least two parts, separated by a dot.

  • The first part of the domain name is the name itself (e.g. thisisme): read more about the requirements
  • The second part is the extension (the bit that comes after the final dot)

There are all sorts of extensions: .be, .vlaanderen, .brussels, .com, .eu. The  extension indicates the country the domain name comes from (.be for Belgium), or the purpose of the domain name. You are not totally at liberty to choose your extension and must make your choice from the extensions authorised by ICANN.

The part that comes after the final dot (such as .be) is also known as the Top Level Domain (TLD). Most TLD managers currently do not make any requirements regarding the type of organisation that registers a domain name.

Requirements for .be, .brussels and .vlaanderen

  • A domain name consists of minimum two and maximum 63 characters.
  • All letters from a to z, all numbers from 0 to 9 and a hyphen (-) are possible.
  • A domain name mustn't consist of a hyphen (-) on the third and/or fourth position.
  • The following special characters are also possible. Domain names containing such letters are called IDN or internationalised domain names:

ß 

à

Á

â

ã

ó

ô

þ

ü

ú

ð

æ

å

ï

ç

è

õ

ö

ÿ

ý

ò

ä

œ

ê

ë

ì

í

ø

ù

î

û

ñ

é

IDN domain names

  • U-label

    A U-label is the IDN domain name containing special characters, such as letters with accents or letters from another alphabet.

    Eg.: "belgië.be"

  • A-label

    An A-label is the coded version of the U-label. The name is converted to ASCII characters (A-Z, 0-9 and/or ‘-’). This conversion is needed for your browser to display the right page.

    eg.: "belgië.be" becomes "xn--belgi-rsa.be"

Domain name status

  • Your domain name should be available since a domain name has to be unique. You can easily check in the search field below.
  • .be domain names that have the status "in quarantine", "out of service", or "on hold" cannot be registered. Read more on these different statuses.

Reserved domain names 

Some .brussels and .vlaanderen domain names are being reserved. The following categories of domain names are concerned:

  • Names with only 2 characters may be assigned only to applicants who have obtained the consent of the national governmental authority of the country and the registry of the country code to which the requested domain name corresponds.
  • Names of countries are assigned only to applicants who have obtained the consent of the national governmental authority of the country to which the requested domain name corresponds.
  • Names of international institutions such as the Red Cross are assigned only to the institutions in question.

Read more about it in the .be terms and conditions or in the .brussels and .vlaanderen terms and conditions.