We are a US-based business and interested in registering a .ca domain. I understand the Canadian Presence Requirements for Registrants - CIRA (www.cira.ca/assets/Documents/Legal/Registrants/CPR.pdf). This questions isn't about restrictions, it is about getting around restrictions.

What practical options are available for us to make this happen?

  • Looks like a lot of CIRA employees were voting on this question :-p – William Entriken Feb 27 '15 at 20:48
  • Why not follow laws? – Mike Feb 28 '15 at 0:13
  • @FullDecent I do not work for CIRA. I'm not even Canadian. Guess everyone is just biased except you. – user27849 Feb 28 '15 at 3:47
  • Facebook terms of service, and CIRA guidelines, are not laws – William Entriken Feb 28 '15 at 5:34

There are services that will allow you to use their address and forward your mail to you at your usual address. This will make it appear as if you have a Canadian address, and you should be able to register the domain just fine.

Alternatively, you could just find a Canadian citizen to register it for you. That way you can't be "found out", because the registrant is legit. There's no rules on saying what a registrant can or can't do with a .ca domain.

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    Why are you encouraging people to break the law? Following this advice could lead to extradition and felony prosecution in Canada. Please do not follow it. – user27849 May 19 '13 at 19:54
  • Thanks nathan, this is the approach we went with. Every indication I have seen is that CIRA is a NGO and that there are no Canadian (or international) laws that prohibit breaking their policy. The policy is also not 100% clear on the type of relationship permissible between the registrar and the operator, a wide legal hole. It is easy to find a Canadian who will help under Craigslist / Jobs / Web Design. – William Entriken May 20 '13 at 0:26
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    @TomD what law are you referring to? – William Entriken May 20 '13 at 0:26
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    First of all, I'm not "encouraging" him to do anything. I simply answered his question. Secondly, I don't think the Canadian Presence Requirements for Registrants is a "law". I've never heard of anybody charged with illegally registering a .ca domain name. – nathangiesbrecht May 22 '13 at 14:13

Q: Is this a legal question, or a technical question?

A: Yes.

In other words, both. The first thing to consider is the nature of one's company, and how is it incorporated legally. But we're talking about websites so there isn't much to consider. The Internet, after all, is without borders, as is global capital. You don't need to have physical offices in different countries to cater to an international clientele.

It is absolutely 100% legal for individuals and business to use services like forwarding addresses, or even "virtual offices" in other countries to build an international presence, and register country-specific domains with said addresses. Physical offices or subsidiaries can come later if necessary. Global corporations aren't born overnight.

In short, the legal part is only providing the forwarding service with your company's articles of incorporation, and seeing to the country-specific guidelines regarding taxes and/or tariffs.

Once you have a forwarding address you can legally register the domain*. I have personally done this. Because of legislation passed due to scams, the companies involved will verify the legitimacy of your business and identity before approving your application.

This is not really a webmasters question, other than to say it is both possible and legal.

*Some countries are more strict than others though, some do require proof of citizenship.


This not a technical question, this is a legal question.

If you really want a .ca domain, you should contact a Canadian law firm to establish the minimum requirements and to discuss other issues (licensing, taxes) related to establishing a legitimate Canadian business.

  • This is a non-answer. CIRA has set standards for registering a domain, "establishing a legitimate Canadian business" is not one of them. On topic discussion is "how to operate websites... questions here are commonly about search engine optimization (SEO), domains, and web-hosting". Meeting requirements for domain registration should be relevant for this site. – William Entriken Feb 27 '15 at 20:53
  • These are the entities, as set by CIRA, to register a .ca domain: cira.ca/ca-websites/how-to-register-a-domain-name/… . "Corporation," "Trust," "Partnership," and "Association" are among them. All these are forms of "establishing a legitimate Canadian business." – user27849 Feb 28 '15 at 3:47

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