Thailand Business, Investment & Corporate Legal – Registration of Domain Names in Thailand (non-legal write-up)

REGISTRATION OF DOMAIN NAMES IN THAILAND

A Brief Introduction  (non-legal write-up)

In contemporaneous times, it is crystal clear that ‘online’ equals accessibility and ‘information’ may even be limited to what is generally uploaded ‘online. Online corporate profiles, portfolios, visibility etc. may be just what actually reflects an establishment. With Creative Thailand and Thailand’s determination to have a strong foot in the world-wide web current, internet services such as the provision of domain name services are receiving much significance.

That being said, for establishments having a presence in Thailand, and especially Thai-owned companies – the Internet Country Code “.th” is of much importance, and is undeniably symbolic.

There are a variety of available domains and the requirements differ:

.co.th

This of course is the most commonly seen Thai domain, being the applicable one for commercial entities and business entities. There are 2 avenues to acquire a domain name with this domain:
Entity’s Registration in Thailand or via Entity’s Registered Representative in Thailand
These commercial / business applicants must be registered in Thailand, with the exception that a foreign company may so apply through its local representative that is registered within Thailand. Only one name, as per the company’s name may be registered. The Applicant is required to furnish one of the following:
  • Limited Company’s  / Limited Partnership’s Certificate of Registration / Business License
  • Limited Company ‘s / Limited Partnership’s Registration Document (Thor-Khor-0401 / Por-Khor-0401)
  • Company’s VAT Registration Document (Por-Por-20)
  • Company’s VAT Application for Amendment Document (Por-Por-09)
  • Company’s Overseas Commercial Permission Document (Thor-Khor-0506)
In the case of a foreign entity applying via its local representative:
  • the Foreign Company’s Registration Certificate
  • the local Representative Thai Company’s Registration Certificate
  • Foreign Parent Company’s letter certifying that the Thai Company is in fact its representative office and that the latter is allowed to use the former’s company name as its domain name.
Entity’s Registered Trademark in Thailand or Entity’s Foreign Registered Trademark
In this case, the domain name is required to be identical to the registered Trademark, no abbreviations or extensions are allowed. Translations are not accepted, however if the Trademark is in a language other than English, English letters may substitute it. The life of the domain name registration will accordingly be linked with the that of the Trademark, i.e. the domain name will be deleted when the Trademark expires. Via this route, so many domain names may be registered as the entity has rights over the Trademarks registered in Thailand. All the applicant needs to furnish with the application is:
  • the Certificate of Registration of the relevant Trademark(s) from the Department of Intellectual Property

Similarly, a foreign company that owns foreign registered Trademark may apply for registration under this route by way of its local representative office. Where this is the case, the applicant needs to provide:

  • the Certificate of Registration of the relevant foreign Trademark accompanied by an English translation
  • the local Representative Company’s Registration Certificate
  • Foreign Parent Company’s letter certifying that the Thai Company is in fact its representative office and that the latter is allowed to use the former’s company name as its domain name.

Conflicts among different rightful claims via the above distinct routes are determined on a first-to-file basis.

.in.th

These are the second most common domain in Thailand which essentially is for organizations or individuals (applicants from the latter group must be over 15 years of age).  These are granted on a first-to-file basis. A preceding requirement for registration is that the applicant must already have a minimum of two name servers configured and able to operate. The domain name applied for has to be a unique name and the applicant must have a contact address in Thailand for administrative / technical / billing purposes. Failure to submit the latter within a month will cause cancellation of the application. The applicant must pay some caution in respect of the compliance of the name applied for with the Thai Department of Commercial Registration’s regulations.

The documents required for registration of a .in.th domain name differ with the type of entity the applicant resembles, namely:

  • An organization has to furnish an official certificate from the Thai Government
  • An individual merely has to furnish his/her identification card, driving license or document evidencing permission to work, and proof of payment

.ac.th

This domain is reserved for academic institutions registered in Thailand. Similarly, the domain name must be strongly similar to the registered name of the academic institution. The applicant is required to lodge:

  • the Certificate of Registration of the Academic Institution in Thailand, with an authorized signature and the Academic Institution’s official crest

In lieu, the applicant may provide:

  •  an authorized letter containing the applicant’s address, applicant’s head office, and confirmation of the intent to register the domain name applied for with an authorized signature and the Academic Institution’s official crest.

.or.th

This domain is generally for non-profit organizations registered in Thailand. Again, the domain name has to be identical with the registered name of the organization. The applicant is required to file:

  • the Certificate of Registration of the Organization in Thailand
In lieu, the applicant may file:
  • A letter containing the committee members of the organization, the organization’s permanent address in Thailand and the purposes of the applicant.
  • A document from a well-known organization affirming the establishment of the applicant in Thailand.

 .go.th ; .mi.th; and .net.th

As the applicability of these domains are limited, their requirements will not be discussed here save for a slight description of their usage respectively:
.go.th is only available to members of the Royal Thai Government, registrants of which are generally ministries, Government bodies, etc.
.mi.th is only available to the Royal Thai Military
.net.th is only limited to telecommunication service providers.

ภาษาไทย.th  , domainname.ไทย  and  ภาษาไทย.ไทย

In the first, the Thai wording stand for ‘Thai Language’, in the second the Thai wording stand for ‘Thai’ and in the third ‘Thai Language.Thai’ . This is Thailand’s Internationalized Domain Name (‘IDN’) and essentially is registration of a domain name in its Thai language. This is currently, graciously offered as a free additional service to registration under the other domains.
The single requirement for this is that the English equivalent is already registered as a domain name. One English domain name may only have one parallel Thai domain name.

Reservation of Domain Names

A fee may be paid by a party which has the right over the name but still incomplete rights to apply for the .th domain name to reserve the said domain name against other applications.

Timeframe for Registration

With everything in order, registration may be completed within a day.

Registry of Thailand Domain Names / Authority for Thai Domain Names

THNIC which is an acronym for Thailand Network Information Center, homepage of which may be visited here..

.

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For more information on the foregoing, please contact the author JOEL LOO SEAN EE, the Bangkok-based Senior Regional Counsel at Kelvin Chia Thailand and a member of Kelvin Chia Partnership’s Regional Practice Group at Joel.Loo@KCPartnership.com.

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This article is published to provide general information only and is not offered as specific advice on any particular matter – This information is to be taken subject to proper consultation with a lawyer.

All written material on BANGKOK LEGAL BLOG (BLB) including this post are the Copyright of Joel Loo Sean Ee. Any attempt to plagiarise or reproduce these materials in whole or in part, in verbatim or in paraphrase, or in any other form that it can be conceivable that such attempt is being made is an offense in law and will be an invitation by offenders to face charges and prosecution in a Court of Law.
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