Domain Names

There is no specific national legislation although some regulations on the organization and management of country code top-level domain names do exist.


Country code top-level domain name: .fr; .re (for Réunion); (specific extensions exist for the overseas territories)

Sub-domains:;;; ( is available only for the French government). 

Applicant: individuals and legal entities.

Principle: first come, first served basis.

Restriction as to nationality: none.

Local presence: required, except for foreign companies or persons having their headquarters/main office or residence within the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland (as of December 11, 2011).

Domestic trademark right: not required for obtaining domain name registration.

Domain name may be registered as a trademark: yes.

Registration, Protection

Duration: one year.

Renewal/maintenance: one year, renewable.

Dispute about ownership: to be brought before the court.

Alternative dispute resolution procedures: an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedure is available before AFNIC (Administrator of French top-level domains). The procedure is called SYRELI. An application can be filed on in order to obtain transfer or deletion of a domain name ending with .fr or .re. The litigious domain name must have been created or renewed after July 1, 2011.  There is a further ADR procedure since July 4, 2016 called PARL EXPERT, and is in collaboration with WIPO. Decisions are rendered by experts and additional research can be carried out by the Examiners who do not limit the examination of the application to the elements provided by the applicant.

Registration Authority name: AFNIC (NIC France) (Association Française pour le Nommage Internet en Coopération).

Internet address:


Complaint: as part of the SYRELI procedure, a notice of complaint containing some information including for example identification of the parties, name of the registrant, the specific domain name that is the subject of the complaint, the trademark(s) and the grounds upon which the complaint is based may be filed before AFNIC. The applicant must prove that the domain name is likely to infringe public order, public morality, constitutional or legal rights, intellectual property rights or personality rights. It is also necessary that the domain name holder does not have a legitimate interest in using it and is acting in bad faith. This procedure is accessible to European Union residents who have a legitimate interest. AFNIC decides on each application solely on the basis of the documents and submissions filed by the two parties and does not conduct any further research. A 250 EUR fee shall be submitted with the filed notice of complaint. If the notice is deemed non-compliant with the filing requirements, the complaint will be dismissed without prejudice and the initial filing fee shall not be refunded. The registrant will have twenty-one calendar days from the date the URS provider sent its notice of complaint to the registrant to electronically file a response with the URS provider. Respondent shall pay a response fee. The procedure lasts a maximum of two months from the date of receipt of the application.

Transfer: voluntary transfer is possible; consent of the domain name owner and the transferee is required.

Appeal: either party shall have a right of appeal within fifteen days after a default or final determination is issued and any response must be filed fourteen days after an appeal is filed (a fee must be paid by the appellant). However, if the registrant agrees, the decision is enforceable without having to wait for the expiry of the appeal period.