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IntroducedApril 25, 1986; 38 years ago (1986-04-25)
TLD typeCountry code top-level domain
RegistryStichting Internet Domeinregistratie Nederland [nl; de]
SponsorStichting Internet Domeinregistratie Nederland
Intended useEntities connected with the Netherlands
Actual useVery popular in the Netherlands
Registered domains6,292,039 (2022-12-24)[1]
Registration restrictionsNone
StructureRegistrations are taken directly at the second level
Dispute policies[2]
Registry websiteSIDN
Logo of Stichting Internet Domeinregistratie Nederland, which administers the domain

.nl is the Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for the Netherlands. It is one of the most popular ccTLDs with over six million registered .nl domains as of 29 September 2020.[1]

When was registered by Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica on 1986-05-01, .nl became the first active ccTLD outside the United States.[3]


Since 31 January 1996, .nl domains are registered by the Stichting Internet Domeinregistratie Nederland (SIDN, in English: Foundation for Internet Domain Registration Netherlands), based in Arnhem.[4] Most registrars are ISPs, IT service bureaus and media service bureaus, but several large enterprises with many brand names have also become a registrar, or participant as SIDN calls them, which is a quite uncommon phenomenon in the domain name industry. Registrars have to pay SIDN a fee for each domain since 1 April 1996, until then registration was free. SIDN does not deal directly with registrants. In the early days, most of the registrants were universities and research departments of large companies, such as Philips Natuurkundig Laboratorium.

Second-level domains

Official second-level domains do not exist. A number of companies have taken the opportunity to register domains like and, using them to sell third-level domains. These are not affiliated with SIDN.[5]

Individuals were allowed to register a second-level .nl domain since 2003. As a forerunner, individuals were allowed to register a third-level domain since 2000. Such 'personal domains' had the form of They never became popular, and registration has been suspended since 2006. Because there were only around 500 of such domains registered, in contrast to about 5 million second-level domains, SIDN announced the discontinuance of personal domains as of 2008 on 4 July 2007.

Technical limitations

Unlike the majority of top level domains, .nl requires each nameserver to use a unique IP address.[6] There must be at least two nameservers set, meaning at least two different IP addresses must be used. Other TLDs with this requirement are .ca and .cn.[7]

Other country-code TLDs under the Kingdom of Netherlands

See also


  1. ^ a b "Aantal domeinnaam registraties". SIDNLabs. 2022-12-19. Archived from the original on 2022-12-24. Retrieved 2022-12-24.
  2. ^ "Klacht over domeinnaam". (in Dutch). Retrieved 2016-10-08.
  3. ^ "Our milestones". SIDN. Archived from the original on 2020-08-08. Retrieved 2020-12-01.
  4. ^ "Contact". SIDN (in Dutch). Retrieved 2016-10-08.
  5. ^ "Frequently asked questions". Retrieved 2016-10-08.
  6. ^ "About .nl Domains".
  7. ^ "How do I register personal nameservers for my domain?".