Nominet is a not-for-profit membership company established in 1996. We are responsible for the smooth operation of the top level domain (TLD) .uk. Our members, who are largely also our registrars, act as shareholders who do not have any rights to share in the company profits.
Prior to Nominet’s foundation, .uk domain name registrations were managed by a voluntary group called the Naming Committee which was founded after the first .uk domain name was used in 1985.
The Naming Committee came under increased pressure as demand for domain name registrations grew in the early 1990s. This was particularly the case with the growth of commercial companies selling domain names to customers.
It was agreed that Nominet would be established to replace it on 14 May 1996. There was discussion about what type of organisation Nominet should be. The options to set-up as a profit-making company or a charity were rejected, and Nominet was created as a private, not-for-profit membership company, limited by guarantee.
Nominet’s founders included Dr Willie Black and John Carey. Dr Black was the organisation’s first CEO. Today, Nominet’s Chief Executive is Lesley Cowley, a role she has held since 2002.
Our not-for-profit status means that we are unable to distribute funds to our members. It doesn't mean we are unable to make profits.
In 2008, we founded Nominet Trust, to provide support for organisations and projects who make innovative use of the internet to achieve their charitable objectives and are committed to using digital technology to make society better.