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Do Org Domains Have To Be Non Profit

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When To Use Com

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A .com domain extension can be found at the end of a for-profit domain or a website URL string . The term .com stands for commercial and is used for business or commercial websites representing companies that sell goods or services for a profit.

Since .com is one of the most popular and trusted top-level domains , roughly 51.6% of websites use it. Its also not uncommon for nonprofit websites and blogs that dont sell a product or service to use dot com to capture more visitors.

You should consider a .com domain extension if your website is one of the following:

  • A business that sells a product or service
  • A nonprofit that sells items
  • Blogs, small business, or startups that require credibility

What Is An Npo

An NPO is an entity that is driven by a dedication to a social cause in the areas of religion, science, research, or educational settings or advocating for a specific shared view. Unlike corporations, all revenues earned by a non-profit organization are used in furthering its target objects instead of being distributed to , members, or employees of the organization.

Non-profits in most jurisdictions, such as the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, are tax-exempt, meaning that they do not pay income tax on the income that they receive. The revenues earned by a non-profit organization are mainly from donations from individuals and corporate organizations, as well as from fundraising activities.

The donations are tax-deductible for the individuals or corporations that contribute, and the organization is not required to pay taxes on the monies. NPOs are accountable to the donors, volunteers, founders, and the community, and the projects they undertake help build public confidence in the organization.

Org Vs Com: Which Domain Extension Is Right For You

Does every company need a .COM? Or does an organization need a .ORG? What if your company is an organization, or your organization is a company? In any case, its not always clear which extension is best.

Domain extensions may seem like an afterthought, but they can say a lot about your website and the one you choose can also have a big impact on your business.

While there are tons of domain extensions to choose from, most websites use either .ORG or .COM. Though most people would think to simply group companies with .COM and non-commercial organizations with .ORG, its not always such a clear-cut distinction. In fact, some companies may benefit from using a .ORG and vice versa.

But which domain extension is right for you? This article will compare .ORG vs. .COM and explore how each extension can impact a website. Read on to learn more and discover the right extension for you and your company or organization.

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File Articles Of Incorporation And State Forms

Now that you have a name for your nonprofit and a solid foundation of what it is going to provide, its time to begin the process of incorporation.

State laws dictate their own requirements for the formation of nonprofits. For that reason, you should make sure to connect with your states association of nonprofits for specific requirements.

Below are the basic steps for incorporating nonprofits. Again, regulations vary from state to state, so these are by no means comprehensive.

  • Register the intended name of your nonprofit corporation, and make sure that it hasn’t already been taken by an existing entity.
  • File articles of incorporation with your state. Depending on your state, you may have to provide additional information, such as proof of corporate name, filing fees or a certificate of disclosure.
  • Some states may also require nonprofits to publish articles of incorporation in a local newspaper and provide further proof with the states agency.

Does Org Have To Be Non Profit

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No, .org is not just for non profits. While .org domains are commonly associated with charitable organizations and other nonprofits, they can be used by anyone for any purpose. Whether youre looking to establish a website for your personal projects or for your business, a .org domain can help you create a professional and credible online presence. Plus, with over 10 million .org domains currently registered, youll be in good company when you choose a .org for your next website.

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When Should You Use A Com Extension

While .org refers to organization, .com refers to commercial. Therefore, its used for the websites of commercial, for-profit companies whose aim is to generate a profit from advertising or selling goods and services. Since .com websites are generally more trusted by consumers than or .org websites, most of todays websites use a .com extension.

Here are the different types of websites that commonly use a .com extension:

Online Shops and Service Websites

The .com extension is ideal for companies with websites that sell products or services online, offline, or both. It can be used for selling traditional goods and services as well online-only subscription services.


While most blogs dont sell anything per se and simply link to other websites that do, many of them use .com domain name extensions for added credibility. By using a .com extension for your blog, youll place it in the same arena as big, established .com sites, giving it a professional appearance and online presence. Opting for a cheaper .net, .info, or .biz extension says you dont take your blog seriously, so why should anyone else? Choosing the right domain for your blog is just as important as choosing the right blogging platform for your blog.

Non-Profit Websites That Sell Goods

Looking Back At The History Of Org Domains

The .org domain traces its roots back to 1985, when it and six other domains were introduced to replace the strings of numbers used to designate web addresses. The very first organization to register .org was a federally funded research institution operating in the eastern United States.

Since that first registration, total .org domain names have grown from less than a million in the 1990s to more than 10 million just a decade later. Today, theres no formal requirement that only non-profits can buy .org, but its generally understood to be for charitable work.

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Org Vs Com Vs Net: What Do They Mean And Which Is Better

A website address is made up of two components. The first is the domain name, a unique element that connects your online address to your brands name and goals. The other one is the domain name extension, which reflects the type of website and its purpose. While many believe that understanding what is a domain name comes down to what’s between the two dots of a URL, the few letters after the second dot play a much bigger role in determining the credibility of your site and how it aligns with your brand.

Also known as top-level domains , domain extensions are used to categorize websites by type, location or business model. Out of the thousands of domain extensions available on the web, the most common ones are .org, .com and .net. In order to choose which one is right for you, youll first need to learn what they stand for and understand their strengths, weaknesses, and differences.

The Benefits Of Nonprofit Status

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Nonprofits can qualify under the 501 federal corporate income tax exemption. After establishing this exemption, most nonprofits are exempt under state and local tax law.

This status also increases the chance of investments to a nonprofit, as individuals are more willing to donate to organizations that will help reduce their tax liability. One can claim a deduction on their taxes regarding a gift or donation to a 501 qualified organization. Nonprofits may also solicit money from both private and public grants.

When incorporating a nonprofit, the individual founders are completely separated from the nonprofit. This takes the burden off any individual founders in the case of debts, lawsuits, fines, and other legal matters.

Employees and board members of a nonprofit entity possess limited liability.

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How To Start A Nonprofit: Complete Checklist

The most difficult part of establishing a nonprofit is simply taking that first step.

Once youre committed to starting and growing your nonprofit, youll find that many things will begin falling into place. Just remember, making mistakes is part of the process and you can always reach out to others for help.

Follow the steps below and youll be well on your way to launching your own nonprofit.

Are Org Domains More Trustworthy

No domains are inherently more secure than others. That said, due to the TLDs familiarity and association with non-profit entities, .org conveys credibility to internet users.

In other words, if you want to ask for donations using a website, having a .org domain name can inspire trust in visitors and make your site less subject to suspicion.

Also Check: How To Get More Referring Domains

Why Register A Org Domain Name

  • Corner the Market for your Brand

    For over 30 years .ORG has withstood the test of time, becoming a must-have TLD for for any brand looking to establish itself as a true player with deep roots in the online world! It’s the Han to Luke and Leia, the Hermione to Harry and Ron, the Triforce of Courage to the Triforces of Wisdom and Power, the Simon to Alvin and Theodore!

  • It’s the Go-To Domain for Non-Commercial Websites

    There’s no better way to build confidence, credibility, and assurance you aren’t trying to sell something than with a .ORG domain. Use it for nonprofits, charities, and volunteer organizations or for existing sites and established companies. What better place for philanthropic info and humanitarian deeds than a .ORG domain? They’re also great for clubs, sports teams, religious organizations, open-source projects, and more!

  • It’s perfect for

    Anyone, actually! It’s a common misconception that .ORG domains are reserved for things like nonprofit organizations. And while they do tend to have more of a non-commercial ‘slant’ to them, anyone is free to register a .ORG, no matter what content you plan to host. So go right ahead and ORG IT UP, BABY!

Are Org Domains Secure

Non Profit Web Design

The .org TLD consistently ranks lowest for abuse rate across they industry and has always put a priority on safety and security of the domain. Public Interest Registry, or PIR , not only ensures a secured technical operation for the domain, but also actively promotes education and addresses critical topics that could affect online safety. PIR continuously collaborates with industry partners to maintain the highest standards in policies, practices, and technologies for .org users.

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Org Vs Com The Bottom Line

Both .org and .com domain name extensions are added to the end of websites to identify whether or not they represent a non-profit organization or a for-profit business. .Org is short for .organization and .com is short for .commercial.

To get a domain name with a .org or .com extension, youll need to use a reputable domain registrar like or Bluehost. Widely considered one of the best registrars and hosting companies, they offer a variety of affordable, feature-rich hosting plans to get your site off the ground in the blink of an eye.

Is Org More Credible Than Com

Yes and no. Although .com extensions have been used by the worlds biggest websites for years and definitely add credibility, .org extensions showcase the non-profit status of organizations and let visitors know the websites sole purpose is to provide valuable, useful information not turn a profit.

Read Also: What Is Meant By Domain

New Web Domains Ngo & Ong Are Now Available Has Your Nonprofit Reserved Its Name

Over the last several years, the .org domain extension has become synonymous with nonprofits in the United States. But in actuality, .org domains are available to any organization or person who wants to register that domain, and many .org extensions are currently being used by personal, corporate, and political websites.

As of May 6, 2015, the registration of .ngo & .ong domains was opened for general availability, which means all new domain names may be registered by any validated organization. To protect your organizations brand and to ensure that the .ngo & .ong domain extensions match an organizations current .org domain name, Register.NGO is encouraging organizations to purchase their .ngo domains as soon as possible because these domain addresses will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

The new domains, .ngo & .ong are intended to lend credibility to legitimate nonprofits vying for attention and donations online. The eligibility standards and simple vetting process are designed to help donors know that the groups have met basic standards and are worthy of a donation. When nonprofits register their domain names under .ngo & .ong they will not only join an online global community of nonprofits, but donors will immediately know that these organizations have been verified and validated.

Org Vs Com: Which Domain Extension Is Best For Your Business

How to start a nonprofit in California – 501c3 Organization


Kelly is a former Google Tech Entrepreneur and Apple Developer who has counseled businesses of all sizes and growth stages. You can find her expertise across Fit Small Business in , business website, and business trend content.

Roberta is a staff writer for Fit Small Business. With more than 5 years of experience in the writing industry, she now focuses on creating content about business websites for the Sales and group.

This article is part of a larger series on Small Business Websites.

There are dozens of different domain extensions you can choose from, and yet .org and .com are the two most trusted worldwide. While anyone can register for either, that doesnt mean theyre interchangeable. A quick rule is that .com is often used by for-profit businesses, while .org is mostly used for charities, groups, and organizations. Keep reading to find out whether the .org or .com best represents your business website.

Read Also: Does Squarespace Sell Domain Names

When Should You Use The Net Extension

The .net extension is often one of the first extensions offered by domain sellers when the .com domain is taken. .net means network, and its initial creation was intended for umbrella companies that have several sites and companies under them, like web hosting organizations. When opting for a .net domain, you should first check to see if whoever owns the .com is a competitor or a company in the same industry as yours. Your potential clients could end up on their site and become theirs instead.

Overall, .net is a reasonably trustworthy option for consumers, and they feel that its a professional and credible website. Since its been around so long, many customers trust the extension. As far as SEO and rankings go, .net is the best among other domain extensions like .co, .live, or .me. You may not receive all the benefits of the .org or .com extensions, but if its your only option, its not a bad one.

What Does Org Mean

The .org top-level domain stands for organization and is primarily used for nonprofit websites such as charities, NGOs, open source projects, and educational platforms. This extension was one of the original domains established in 1985, and is therefore perceived as stronger and more credible than newer alternatives.

This domain extension was originally created for organizations that didnt match the intent of any other domains available at the time: not commercial, not in networking, not a university, not government and not military. Over time, .org became exclusively for nonprofits, however, this restriction was removed in August 2019 after the domain name registry was sold to an investment firm.

But while for-profit businesses are now legally allowed to purchase and use .org domains, the public opinion is still very much set on its old ways. Any business using a .org domain is inherently perceived as a nonprofit organization, and the failure to clearly disclose the for-profit nature of your company could result in serious backlash.

Read Also: How To Change Domain Name On Gmail

What The Heck Happened With Org

If you are following the tech news, you might have seen the announcement that ICANN withheld consent for the change of control of the Public Interest Registry and that this had some implications for .org. However, unless you follow a lot of DNS inside baseball, it might not be that clear what all this means. This post is intended to give a high level overview of the background here and what happened with .org. In addition, Mozilla has been actively engaged in the public discussion on this topic see here for a good starting point.

The Structure And History Of Internet Naming

How to Create a Non Profit Organization (Donation) Website With WordPress

As youve probably noticed, Web sites have names like,, etc. These are called domain names. The way this all works is that there are a number of top-level domains and then people can get names within those domains . Top level domains come in two main flavors:

  • Country-code top-level domains which represent some country or region like .us , .uk

Back at the beginning of the Internet, there were five gTLDs which were intended to roughly reflect the type of entity registering the name:

Its important to remember that until the 90s, much of the Internet ran under an Acceptable Use Policy which discouraged/forbid commercial use and so these distinctions were inherently somewhat fuzzy, but nevertheless people had the rough understanding that .org was for non-profits and the like and .com was for companies.

The bottom line here is that this is all quite lucrative. For example, in FY19 VeriSigns revenue was over $1.2 billion. ICANN itself makes money in two main ways. First, it takes a cut of the revenue from each domain registration and second it auctions off the contracts for new gTLDs if more than one entity wants to register them. In the fiscal year ending in June 2018, ICANN made $136 million in total revenues .

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