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My father who lives in Europe (and is not American) wants to create a .com website to host some of his work.

A friend of his thought it might be best for his business (the site would serve essentially to show photography work) if the site were registered here in the US, and he seemed to think you would need to be a US resident in order to do so. I am both a US citizen and resident, so that wouldn't be an issue.

I have a few questions:

  • In general, is there anything that being a US resident/citizen will allow me to do that wouldn't be possible to a non-resident/citizen as far as website registration/hosting?

  • Do those limitations include the site extensions one can use? For example, would a non-resident/citizen be able to register a .com extension?

  • Does the address of registration actually matter at all?

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No you do not have to be. There may be restrictions on the .us domain name specifically, however, nationality is not a pre-requisite for registering domain names.

As far as hosting goes, you can host your website anywhere in the world and be able to access it from any browser in the world ('as long as you have an internet connection').

To re-iterate, anyone can register any domain extension especially .coms which are universal really.

The address of the registration doesn't really matter. You could be a third party registering the domain for a client or something. It is really up to you what details you chose to use.

  • Thank you. Do you know whether the address of registration has any impact on google searches or anything related? I think one of the concerns was that the site would be less "visible" to potential interested parties in the US if registered outisde of the US. – jeremy radcliff Dec 1 '15 at 23:15
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    The statement anyone can register any domain extension is not quite true. For example, some ccTLDs require being a citizen/resident. However, you are right that .com and other gTLDs are open generally. Just wanted to be clear. – closetnoc Dec 2 '15 at 0:04
  • Read the terms from the registry operator. For instance, for US, it is neustar, they have a "terms of service" page in which you can read all requirements. hare are the terms of service for .us domains: neustar.us/policies – Nicolas Guérinet Dec 3 '15 at 18:14

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