Costa Rican top-level .cr domains and second-level .co.cr, .fi.cr, .or.cr, .sa.cr, .ed.cr, ac.cr and .go.cr domains are managed by NIC Costa Rica (Nic.cr), a non-profit organization and an independent unit of the National Academy of Sciences.
The unit operates under the regulations set forth by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). These regulations ensure absolute fairness and transparency in the allocation of top-level .cr domains.
NIC Costa Rica’s primary goals are to promote the sale of their domains and to facilitate and promote the development of the Internet by providing innovative technologies and actively participating in different sectors.
Anyone can purchase a Costa Rica top level and second-level domains (.cr and .co.cr), known as commercial domains. For example: .co.cr (commercial sector: legal and natural persons dedicated to commercial activity or other activities), .or.cr (organizations and volunteer associations).
However, the following domains are reserved for specific sectors:
- .fi.cr (financial sector),
- .ac.cr (academic sector),
- .ed.cr (educational sector),
- .sa.cr (health sector), and
- .go.cr (governmental sector)
NIC Costa Rica does not place limits on how many domains may be registered by a person or a business, as long as the domains you wish to register fulfill the domain category requirements.
To register a domain with Nic.cr you do not need to have an Internet page, but all title-holder, administrative, technical, and payment contacts MUST have an active email address.
Registering a domain .cr, .co.cr you do not need a physical presence in Costa Rica. However, to register a domain under any of the other categories (.ac.cr, .ed.cr, .fi.cr, .go.cr, .or.cr, .sa.cr) a physical presence in Costa Rica is required.
Like other domains around the globe, Costa Rica level domains, whether the applicant is a natural or a legal person (corporation), may be transferred to another natural or legal person who is different from the domain’s title-holder. In this case, you should request the domain transfer through NIC Costa Rica’s site. This process costs the same as the fee to register the domain you wish to transfer for the period of one year.
The cost of Costa Rica domains are as follows (as of March 23, 2018):
- .cr (any sector) US$70 per year
- .co.cr (commercial) US$25 per year
- .fi.cr (financial) US$25 per year
- .ac.cr (academic) US$25 per year
- .ed.cr (educational) US$25 per year
- .sa.cr (health) US$25 per year
- .or.cr (non-profit) US$25 per year
- .go.cr (governmental) $0
To provide a better service and make it easier for users to complete their transactions, NIC Costa Rica offers the following options for users to pay for their .cr domain names:
- Bank deposit or transfer
- Credit or debit card
Benefits of having a Costa Rica domain
When searching online, Costa Rican internet users expect to see website addresses with .CR domain names whether you are a Costa Rican local, a small business owner, a tour guide, a fisherman, or just someone who appreciates coffee and the Pura Vida lifestyle
With a .CR domain name you will rank higher in local search results and in the hearts of the locals and shows your connection to the Costa Rican culture and commitment to providing the best internet experience in Costa Rica.
In addition, protecting your brand is as important as growing it. Registering your brand name in Costa Rica is one of the best preventative measures you can take to secure your trademark and combat copyright infringement locally. Your domain name is your brand and your brand is you!
In the end, however, the decision is up to you. For instance, the Q is a global domain. Though based in Costa Rica, the largest number of searches and visitors are from the United States. However, the Q also maintains a Costa Rica domain, inews.co.cr which is redirected to the Q.
If you’re looking to get your hands on a free domain name, this guide highlights the steps you need to take to obtain one and some of the tricks that hosting companies use to get you to upgrade.