New Top-Level Domains Could Give the Internet More Structure

.corp and .llp Could Save Consumers From Being Scammed.

With just days to go before the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is expected to release its list of new top-level domain applications, news is starting to dribble out about what the list will include.

Among the over 19,000 new top-level domains will be four from Dot Registry for .inc, .corp., .llc and .llp, the site Domain Incite reported on Monday.

If successful, those domains will join the elite set of current top-level domains, such as .com, .org, .edu and .gov.

The domains will be limited to companies incorporated in the United States at the request of a coalition of U.S. state secretaries of state, Domain Incite reported. The secretaries’ objection was reportedly that those incorporations’ precise meanings vary from nation to nation and the incorporations would be difficult to verify if the domain was available internationally.

This is an indication the new slew of top-level domains could help make the Internet a more structured, if vastly more complicated, space -- giving at least U.S. consumers a clear indication that a site is run by a genuinely incorporated entity rather than an out-and-out scam.

Dot Registry has competition, though. Domain Incite reported Wednesday that the Hong Kong-based DotCorp also has applied for the .corp domain, which it would license internationally.

The new top-level domains will cost companies $185,000 just to be evaluated and another $6,250 per year if approved. That’s likely to keep the field from being too crowded, but category domains such as .corp and .llp are likely to be joined by some single company domains eager for their own playgrounds. Maybe .amazon or .walmart?