About registries & registrars

To register a domain, you can work with registrars such as Google Domains. Google Domains works with registries such as Google Registry to acquire domain names for individuals and companies.   

How a registry and a registrar differ:

  • Registry: An organization that manages the administrative data for the domains and subdomains with the specific domain endings under its authority, such as the zone files that contain addresses of the name servers for each domain.
  • Registrar: An organization that manages the registration of domain names for one or more registries.

ICANNhas oversight for registries and registrars. Additional information about registries and registrars is available through InterNICand IANA, two organizations ICANN operates.


A registrant is the registered holder of a domain. A registrant holds the "rights" to a domain for the duration of the registration period. A domain's registration can be renewed indefinitely, up to 10 years at a time. A registrant is considered the "owner" of the domain.


Google Domains is a registrar. A registrar works with a registrant, or the owner of a domain, and a registry. 


  • Sell domain names
  • Provide registration services
  • Offer other value-added services applicable to domains

InterNIC maintains a directory of accredited registrars at www.internic.com/regist.html.


Registration is the process whereby a registrant registers a domain with a registrar. A registrant can register a domain for a period from 1 to 10 years. When the registration period expires, the registrant can renew or extend the registration. The registrant must provide contact information to the registrar for inclusion in the WHOIS database.


A registry is a database that contains registrant information for the second-level domains (google.com, example.com) beneath a given top-level domain (.com).

A registry operator is an organization that maintains the administrative data for one or more top-level or lower-level domains. For example, Verisign is responsible for several top-level domains, including the .com, .net, and .name domains. A registry operator is given authority to operate a top-level domain through ICANN.

Learn more about the role of registries in your domain name registration.

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