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Published October 28, 2023

About .inc Domains

A comprehensive guide to the .inc domain

The .inc domain is a prestigious digital address, designed to cater to the specific needs of incorporated entities. Operated by Intercap Registry Inc., a Cayman Islands company, and 3DNS investor and strategic partner, the .inc domain extension stands as a hallmark for legitimate corporations, embodying a blend of exclusivity and recognition that is crucial for corporate entities in the digital realm. Here’s a detailed exploration of this executive domain extension.

History of .inc Domains

The journey of the .inc domain towards its establishment reflects a blend of competition and a vision to create a dedicated online space for incorporated entities. Here’s a brief chronicle of its voyage:

Emergence and Proposal: The .inc domain emerged from ICANN’s New gTLD Program, aimed at expanding the domain name system to include new top-level domains that cater to specific groups or themes. The proposal for .inc was targeted towards providing a distinct domain for corporations, mirroring their official incorporated status.

Competitive Applicants: The race to manage the .inc domain saw a diverse range of applicants including new registry operators like Dot Registry LLC, and seasoned players in the domain industry like Top Level Domain Holdings Ltd. (TLDH), STRAAT Investments, Uniregistry, Corp., and tech giant Google among others. Each of these applicants envisioned the .inc domain as a potential digital hub for corporations.

Community Priority Evaluation (CPE): In June 2014, a CPE panel assessed the community application by Dot Registry LLC for the .inc domain but it didn’t prevail, scoring 5 out of 16 possible points, with 14 needed to pass. This led to the resolution of contention set through other means like Private or ICANN auction.

Concerns and Objections: The pathway for .inc wasn’t without hurdles. The National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) expressed concerns regarding the unrestricted registration in the .inc domain, emphasizing the importance of restricting the domain to legally registered corporations.

Operational Transition: Eventually, the .inc domain found its operator in Intercap Registry Inc., a Cayman Islands company, which now administers the domain, ensuring it serves its purpose of providing a professional digital identity to incorporated entities.

Total Registrations

The total registration data for .inc domain is not publicly available. However, the competitive interest in managing this domain reflects its potential popularity among corporations.

Is .inc Good for SEO?

Like other gTLDs, the .inc domain doesn’t have inherent SEO benefits. The ranking of a website on search engines depends on various factors like quality content, user experience, and SEO best practices.

How Much Does a .inc Domain Cost?

The pricing of a .inc domain can vary among different registrars. It’s advisable to check with multiple registrars to find the best price.

Will People Know and Trust the .inc Domain Extension?

The .inc domain extension is likely to be recognized and trusted within business circles due to its clear association with incorporated entities. However, general recognition might take some time as it’s relatively new compared to well-established extensions like .com or .org.

Difference Between .inc, .org, .net, .xyz, and .com TLDs

  • .inc: Specifically designed for incorporated businesses, providing a professional and official demeanor.
  • .org: Preferred by non-profits, educational institutions, and community groups, reflecting a sense of organization and community.
  • .net: Initially meant for network-related entities but now a general-purpose domain.
  • .xyz: Modern and versatile, without any specific designation, appealing to a diverse audience.
  • .com: The most recognized and used domain extension, suitable for a wide range of commercial entities.

3 Interesting Facts about .inc Domains

  1. Specifically Tailored: The .inc domain is crafted with corporations in mind, aiming to provide a distinctive domain that reflects their incorporated status.
  2. Competitive Race: Multiple entities, including renowned registry operators and tech giants like Google, have shown interest in managing the .inc domain, indicating its perceived value in the digital domain landscape.
  3. String Objections: The National Association of Secretaries of State expressed concerns regarding the .inc domain, emphasizing that it should be restricted to legally registered corporations to maintain its integrity and purpose.

Market Analysis of .inc Domains

The market for .inc domains reflects a specific targeting towards incorporated entities looking for a prestigious digital identity. The .inc domain, with its clear connotation of incorporation, positions itself as a premium domain extension in the market. It’s tailored for businesses that wish to exhibit a high level of professionalism and official status in the online realm. While the exact registration numbers are not publicly disclosed, the competition among various registry operators to manage the .inc domain indicates its perceived value and potential popularity among corporations. Moreover, the relatively higher registration cost associated with .inc domains aligns with its positioning as a premium and professional domain choice for legitimate incorporated entities. The .inc domain market, although niche, is poised to grow as more corporations recognize the importance of a distinguished online identity that resonates with their official incorporated status.

The Appeal of .inc Domains

The appeal of .inc domains lies in their ability to provide a sharp, professional, and official online identity to incorporated businesses. Unlike generic domain extensions, .inc immediately signifies a level of credibility and formality, making it a desirable choice for corporations aiming to reinforce their professional image in the digital landscape. This domain extension also offers a level of exclusivity, further elevating the status of businesses that hold a .inc domain. Moreover, the straightforward and clear message that a .inc domain delivers to stakeholders and customers about the business’s incorporated status is invaluable. It eliminates any ambiguity regarding the business’s formal structure, thus instilling a sense of trust and reliability.

A few corporations have leveraged the .inc domain to enhance their online branding. For instance, Caterpillarutilizes its .inc domain to underline its incorporated status, while Neoadopts the .inc domain to project a sleek and professional online presence. Meanwhile, POAPand Teaalso capitalize on the .inc extension to provide a straightforward and elegant domain name that reflects their corporate identity. These examples illustrate the diverse appeal and utility of .inc domains in establishing a reputable and professional online identity for incorporated entities.

The .inc Registry Contract

The .inc domain is governed by a detailed registry contract with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). This contract sets forth the terms and conditions under which the .inc domain operates, ensuring that it adheres to global internet standards and practices. The registry agreement is a critical document that establishes the operational framework for the .inc domain, administered by Intercap Registry Inc. This agreement covers a myriad of operational aspects including, but not limited to, the registration process, security protocols, dispute resolution mechanisms, and rights protection measures aimed at safeguarding the integrity of the .inc domain and its registrants. The .inc Registry Agreement is a robust document that underscores the domain’s commitment to maintaining a professional and secure digital environment for incorporated entities. You can review the full contract on the ICANN website.


The .inc domain is a robust digital platform for incorporated entities to establish their official online presence. With its clear corporate connotation, it provides a trusted space for businesses to interact with their stakeholders, reinforcing their professional stature in the digital realm.