|TLD type||Generic top-level domain|
|Intended use||Business use by qualified professionals|
|Actual use||Internet & information technology professionals, consultants, real estate professionals, financial and accounting professionals, engineers, lawyers, communications professionals, medical professionals|
|Registration restrictions||unrestricted to all registrants starting November 16, 2015|
|Structure||Second level .PRO domains are available to all government certified individuals and businesses|
|Documents||ICANN registry agreement|
|Dispute policies||UDRP, Qualification Challenge Policy (QCP)|
In October 2000 Jason Drummond came up with the concept for a new top level domain name (TLD) and established RegistryPro to jointly bid with Register.com for .pro. In May 2002 RegistryPro signed its contract with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) the organization that administers global domain names; under which it will operate the registry for the new top level domain (TLD) .pro.
The domain was originally launched in June 2004 with registrations restricted to four professions: accountants, engineers, lawyers and medical professionals in Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.
In March 2005, the registrar EnCirca introduced its controversial ProForwarding service which enabled unverified people and businesses to register pro domains. Registrants then had thirty days to provide verified credentials prior to their domain being activated. Total registrations reached 6,899 by January 2008.
In 2012, RegistryPro was acquired by Afilias Limited.
The official domain website describes the eligibility criteria as follows:
- Applicant provides professional services
- Applicant is admitted to or licensed by a government certification body or jurisdictional licensing entity recognized by a governmental body that regularly verifies the accuracy of its data.
- Applicant is in good standing.
The domain registry allows registration of third-level domains in the following domains:
- Legal: law.pro, avocat.pro, bar.pro, jur.pro, recht.pro
- Accountancy: cpa.pro, aaa.pro, aca.pro, acct.pro
- Medical: med.pro
- Engineering: eng.pro
As of April 2011, the domains may be registered through 44 accredited domain registrars. In January 2011, the number of registered domains surpassed 100,000. As reported in April 2010, the majority of domains are registered in the United States (42%), followed by France (24%) and Russian Federation (5%).
A regulatory change made the .pro domain name unrestricted to all registrants starting November 16, 2015. From then on, this domain has been mainly used for purposes of spam or scam.
- "ICANN Unanimously Approves RegistryPro Proposal to Expand the .PRO TLD". 14 May 2008. Archived from the original on 12 September 2008. Retrieved 22 September 2008.
- "Who can register a .PRO Domain name". Archived from the original on 18 June 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2009.
- ".PRO Registry Operator's Report, April 2010" (PDF). ProRegistry. Retrieved 2 August 2010.
- Sibername, an ICANN accredited registrar of the .PRO top-level domain, today announced that as of November 16, 2015, .pro domain names will become unrestricted, prweb.com; Ottawa, November 11, 2015. Also as PDF.