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New gTLD Program: Next Round FAQs

What is a gTLD?

A generic top-level domain, or gTLD, is an Internet extension—the characters that come after the dot in a URL, such as While individuals and organizations can register a domain name, the process of applying for a gTLD is much more complex. In fact, when you apply for a top-level domain, you are applying to operate an Internet registry business that supports the domain name system (DNS).

Who can apply for a new gTLD?

Any established entity located anywhere in the world can apply to form and operate a new gTLD registry.

When will I be able to apply for a new gTLD?

The next application submission period for new gTLDs is expected to open in Q2 2026. A crucial driver of the timeline is the Policy Implementation work, culminating in completion of the Applicant Guidebook, which is estimated to conclude in May 2025. Once that work has been completed, ICANN estimates it will take approximately one year to operationalize the process and open the application submission period.

What are some of the opportunities associated with the program?

The New gTLD Program: Next Round will give businesses, communities, and others the opportunity to apply for new top-level domains tailored to their community, culture, language, business, and customers. A TLD can be a branding opportunity for a business, but the commercial opportunities are endless, allowing businesses in countries, entire sectors, or niche markets to develop a unique label on the Internet. The next round of new gTLDs will also offer opportunities to create a more multilingual and inclusive Internet for the billions of people who speak and write in different languages and scripts and are yet to come online.

Can I apply for a new gTLD in any language or script?

ICANN will accept applications for new gTLDs in any language or script that has a common and widespread use by a community. The 26 scripts that are currently supported are Arabic, Armenian, Bangla, Chinese (Han), Cyrillic, Devanagari, Ethiopic, Georgian, Greek, Gujarati, Gurmukhi, Hebrew, Japanese (Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji [Han]), Kannada, Khmer, Korean (Hangul and Hanja [Han]), Lao, Latin, Malayalam, Myanmar, Oriya, Sinhala, Tamil, Telugu, and Thai. If you apply for a gTLD in one of these scripts, the rules of that script apply.

ICANN requires definition of rules by the script community to evaluate applied-for gTLD strings. The rules are defined by the community (using the script) forming a panel to develop such a proposal. Many script communities have already organized and developed these rules, which have been integrated into Root Zone Label Generation Rules (RZ-LGR).

Should you wish to apply for a new gTLD in a script that is not yet supported but has common and widespread use, your application will be put on hold until the community using the script can formulate a panel and develop a proposal. The proposal will then be considered and integrated into the RZ-LGR using the RZ-LGR Procedure.

How much will it cost to apply for a new gTLD?

While the application fee has not been determined, it will be set on a cost-recovery basis. The fee will ensure that the next round of the New gTLD Program is fully funded and does not require funds from ICANN's operating budget. As a point of reference, the application fee for the 2012 round of the New gTLD Program was US$185,000.

What does a gTLD registry operator do?

A registry operator (RO) maintains the master database, or registry of all domain names registered in a particular generic top-level domain (gTLD). RO's receive requests from registrars to add, delete, or modify domain names and make the requested changes in the registry.

What do I need to know about becoming a registry operator?

There are many aspects – technical, financial, regulatory – to running a registry. Reviewing the Applicant Guidebook from the 2012 application round is a good starting point. ICANN is currently updating the Applicant Guidebook to be used in future rounds, and while certain details will change, it provides a comprehensive overview of what you'll need to know if you apply for a new gTLD. You can also follow the work of the team that's developing the next Applicant Guidebook here.

What is a Registry Service Provider?

Registry Service Providers provide critical registry services on behalf of the registry operator. These services include data escrow, DNS Security Extensions signing, and proxy services, among others.

What is the Applicant Support Program (ASP)?

The Applicant Support Program is intended to serve the global public interest by ensuring  worldwide accessibility to, and competition within the New gTLD Program: Next Round. It is in development now, but is planned to support qualifying new gTLD applicants with financial and non-financial forms of support.

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