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What happens to your .eu domain name after Brexit

There could be consequences for UK organisations with .eu web addresses

If you’re an organisation in the UK and you have a domain name (a web address) that ends in .eu, there could be consequences depending on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.

As it stands, Brexit will cancel any .eu domain names registered in the UK. (This does not include .eu.com domain names).

The fact is, no-one yet knows what will happen to UK-based .eu domain names. With the Brexit deadline approaching, it’s worth doing some planning in case the worst happens.

Unfortunately, the EU is taking an unprecedentedly hard line on this. In the past, when a domain name is no longer in use or the eligibility goalposts are changed, people could keep their existing domain names. This happened with the .su domain name for the Soviet Union.

.eu domain names post-Brexit: your options

You could be tempted to register it with a third-party service, whose sole purpose is to provide you with an EU address. However, this contravenes the .eu domain name rules, and you could lose the domain name anyway.

If you have an EU-based subsidiary or partner, it’s time to have a discussion with them. Maybe you can transfer the domain name to them. Remember, they will then have control over your website. A domain name can point anywhere, not necessarily towards your website. You need to really trust whoever you ask. You also need to retain the ability to log in and access the domain name’s settings.

Failing that, it might be time to consider an alternative web address. You can set up redirects now, so that people have time to get used to your new address. .eu.com addresses are available for a reasonable price. You could go for the traditional .com or .co.uk, or try one of the newer domain names like .agency or .guru.

Hopefully common sense will prevail and you won’t need to do anything, but prepare for the worst just in case!

Contact us if you need to discuss your domain name options.

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