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Next Round FAQs

  1. What is a gTLD?
    A generic top-level domain, or gTLD, is an Internet extension—the characters that come after the dot in a URL, such as While individuals and organizations can register a domain name, the process of applying for a gTLD is much more complex. In fact, when you apply for a top-level domain, you are applying to operate an Internet registry business that supports the domain name system (DNS).
  2. Who can apply for a new gTLD?
    Any established entity located anywhere in the world can apply to form and operate a new gTLD registry.
  3. When will I be able to apply?
    The application submission period for new gTLDs is expected to open in Q2 2026. A crucial driver of this timeline is the Policy Implementation work, which will culminate in completion of a new Applicant Guidebook (AGB). The guidebook serves as a critical resource for the program and is estimated to conclude in May 2025. Once that work has been completed, ICANN estimates it will take approximately one year to operationalize the application evaluation process and open the application submission period.
  4. What are some of the opportunities associated with the program?
    The New gTLD Program: Next Round will give businesses, communities, and others the opportunity to apply for new top-level domains tailored to their community, culture, language, business, and customers. A TLD can be a branding opportunity for a business, but the commercial opportunities are endless, allowing businesses in countries, entire sectors, or niche markets to develop a unique label on the Internet. The next round of new gTLDs will also offer opportunities to create a more multilingual and inclusive Internet for the billions of people who speak and write in different languages and scripts and are yet to come online.
  5. Will I be able to apply for a new gTLD in any language or script?
    ICANN will accept applications for new gTLDs in any language or script that has a common and widespread use by a community. The 26 scripts that are currently supported are Arabic, Armenian, Bangla, Chinese (Han), Cyrillic, Devanagari, Ethiopic, Georgian, Greek, Gujarati, Gurmukhi, Hebrew, Japanese (Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji [Han]), Kannada, Khmer, Korean (Hangul and Hanja [Han]), Lao, Latin, Malayalam, Myanmar, Oriya, Sinhala, Tamil, Telugu, and Thai. If you apply for a gTLD in one of these scripts, the rules of that script apply. 

    ICANN requires definition of rules by the script community to evaluate applied-for gTLD strings. The rules are defined by the community (using the script) forming a panel to develop such a proposal. Many script communities have already organized and developed these rules, which have been integrated into Root Zone Label Generation Rules (RZ-LGR). 

    If your organization would like to apply for a new gTLD in a script that is not yet supported but has common and widespread use, your application will be put on hold until the community using the script can formulate a panel and develop a proposal. The proposal will then be considered and integrated into the RZ-LGR using the RZ-LGR Procedure
  6. How much will it cost to apply for a new gTLD?
    While the application fee has not yet been determined for this round, it will be set on a cost-recovery basis. The fee will ensure that the next round of the New gTLD Program is fully funded and does not require funds from ICANN's operating budget. As a point of reference, the application fee for the 2012 round of the New gTLD Program was US$185,000.
  7. What is a registry? What does a gTLD registry operator do?
    A registry is a database of all the domains registered under a specific TLD. Registry operators (ROs) maintain the master list or registry of all those domains. ROs add, delete, or modify domain names and make other changes as requested by registrars.
  8. What do I need to know about being a registry operator?
    There are many aspects – technical, financial, regulatory – to running a registry. Reviewing the Applicant Guidebook from the 2012 application round is a good starting point. ICANN is currently updating the Applicant Guidebook and while certain details will change, it provides a comprehensive and current overview of what you'll need to know to apply for a new gTLD. You are invited to follow the work of the team that's developing the new Applicant Guidebook here.