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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 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 or .com).
Checking a domain name
When choosing a domain name, you have to make sure it does not yet exist. You cannot choose a domain name that is already in use, and your domain name must respect the trademark rights and trade name rights of other companies.
You can use the Whois-search option on the website of the Foundation for Internet Domain Registration in the Netherlands (Stichting Internet Domeinregistratie Nederland, SIDN), if you want to check if a certain domain name (.nl) already exists. You could also consult your internet provider's website, which usually offers domain name checks for .nl and other extensions as well.
Submitting a request for domain name registration
You must register a domain name from a domain names registrar (web-hosting provider). They will then submit a registration request on your behalf to the organisation that administers domain names. The organisation administering the top level domain (TLD) ‘.nl’ is SIDN.