If you want to start a website, you must first choose a domain name (internet address). You then buy the domain name and register it.
What is a domain?
The domain is the internet address (URL) of your website. You can choose the first part of the domain name yourself. The part after the dot is the extension (for instance .nl, .eu or .com).
Submitting a request for domain name registration
You must register a domain name from a domain names registrar, for example your hosting provider. The registrar will then submit a registration request to the organisation that administers domain names on behalf of ICANN. For the ‘.nl’ top level domain (TLD) this is the Foundation for Internet Domain Registration in the Netherlands (Stichting Internet Domeinregistratie Nederland, SIDN).
Checking a domain name
You can only register a domain name that does not yet exist. To check if a certain .nl domain name is already in use you can use a Whois-search. You can also consult your hosting provider's website, which generally offers domain name checks for .nl and other extensions as well.