Business domains, such as www.BusinessName.com, identify the location or address, on the Internet where a business has established its online presence. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, coordinates the entire,global set of business and other domains so that the domain name system, or DNS, functions correctly across national boundaries.
Business domains, or web addresses, provide businesses with a location to which the business can direct its customers, partners and vendors. Business domains can represent the e-commerce function of a traditional business, in the way that BestBuy.com is the e-commerce version of Best Buy retail outlets, or can simply provide information about a business, its products and services. Businesses print their domain information on business cards, letterheads, print advertisements and direct marketing and use it in many forms of broadcast advertising.
Business domains typically take the form, www.BusinessName.com. Each part of the domain has a particular meaning and use. The final part of the domain, .com in this example, is a top-level domain. This level of the domain is limited in that users cannot create their own top-level domains. The parts preceding .com, the second-level domain, BusinessName, and the third-level domain, www, are subdomains. Businesses can create, register and use subdomains, most often using their business name as the second-level domain, according to their needs and the domain's availability.
Businesses use top-level domains of the type .com and .net. Other types of top-level domains generally serve particular kinds of entities. For example, nonprofit organizations may use .org; educational institutions .edu; the U.S. government .gov; and the U.S. military .mil. In addition, a range of top-level domain names associated with countries, states and other sub-types of national entities, such as .uk for entities in the United Kingdom and .tx for entities in the state of Texas, serve to identify regional affiliations for their users.
To ensure that a given name such as BusinessName.com represents just one business, only domain name registrars can register a given domain to a particular business. When a business registers a domain through a registrar, the domain becomes part of a global database of interconnected domains. The connected domains form the Internet. Internet users will be able to locate information about the company through an Internet web browser.
The global database of domain names depends on special servers known as domain name servers. Each server contains information about the global set of domains and frequently accesses updated lists of domains.
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