DIFO’s business model

DIFO’s business model

In Denmark, DK Hostmaster administers .dk domain names in the form of a “sole registry”. This means that users must contact a registrar –  in other words a “.dk dealer” – to register a domain name. The registrar provides the technical setup of name servers and collects the first year’s payment. DK Hostmaster then assumes future contact with the registrant regarding the domain name, including collection of payment for the domain name.

All of the registrant’s subsequent dealings are directly with DK Hostmaster and not through a registrar.

Most other top-level country domains are administered in the form of a “shared registry”, where the administrator does not have a direct customer relationship with domain name registrants. 

As the administrator in Denmark, we are also regulated by the Danish Domain Act, which stipulates that the price of a domain name must be cost-determined. This means that we do not aim to generate profits.

Why DIFO uses the sole registry model

One of the major benefits of the sole registry model is that registrants have a contractual relationship directly with the administrator (DIFO), providing clearer legal rights to registered domain names.

A sole registry also offers all registrants the same terms and conditions, which are subject to a governmental consultation process in Denmark before taking effect. The administration of Danish domain names is thereby shaped through a democratic process, with a single point of contact (DIFO) for public authorities, users and the internet community.

Among the cheapest domain names in the world

By dealing directly with the administrator, registrants also avoid the additional costs associated with middlemen. In Denmark, the price must be cost-determined, which has resulted in a fixed low price since 2006.

DK Hostmaster has designed its system so that registrants can chose to manage domain names themselves or assign these tasks to a proxy. A proxy can be a registrar, an employee, a friend or anybody else assigned this role by the registrant. However, DK Hostmaster’s terms and conditions will still apply.

We believe that this option is important, as it allows registrants to decide how they wish to manage their .dk domain names.

Sole registry

  • Registrants administer their domain names directly through the administrator.
  • Registrants can register address changes and transfers, and can also enter into contracts directly with the administrator.
  • The administrator determines the price to be paid by the registrant for these services.
  • The registrar handles the technical tasks, such as configuration of name servers.
  • The registrar registers the domain name through the administrator on behalf of the registrant.

Shared registry

  • All dealings regarding the domain name go through a registrar.
  • The registrant has no direct contact with the administrator.
  • The registrar handles all technical tasks, such as configuration of name servers, changes in contact information and deletion.
  • The registrar sets the price of the domain name.
  • The registration of domain names takes place in a commercial market.
  • Each registrar has its own terms and conditions regulating the registrant’s legal rights.

Person or company who has registered a domain name and has the right to use it as long as the fee for the applicable period is paid.



The administrator has overall responsibility for administration of a top-level domain.



Registrars are domain name dealers. All registrants must go through a registrar to order a domain name.

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