The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, via its CPA.com affiliate, has launched the .CPA top-level-domain extension for Certified Public Accountants. .CPA is a restricted Internet domain that allows CPAs to connect with clients and the general public with greater trust, security and verification.

“The digital presence of firms has never been more important.,” said Erik Asgeirsson, president and CEO of CPA.com. “The .CPA domain will reduce risks associated with phishing and spoofing attacks and the growing number of online bad actors. Just as importantly, it will give clients and the public-at-large greater peace of mind they’re dealing with legitimate CPA firms.”

The .CPA domain is restricted to licensed CPA’s. There are over 650,000 active CPA’s in the USA. Many other countries also issue CPA licenses, including: Canada, Australia and China.

CPA.com has planned a phased roll-out of the .CPA domain extension for Trademark owners, firms and individuals. Initially, applicants will be limited to the USA. The goal of the initial period, which runs through Oct. 31, is to help firms acquire domains that are most consistent with their current digital branding. To apply, firms must be licensed and agree to use the domain they acquire.  Licensed firms that apply during the early registration phase will be able to register their existing .com domain using .cpa. Firms will be notified of the outcome of their domain applications no later than early November.

Here are the launch phases for .CPA:

Sunrise Period: September 1 – October 31, 2020
During this end-date Sunrise phase, licensed CPA firms with a record in the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) may apply for exact matches of the trademark listed in their SMD file.

Trademark Holders: September 1 – October 31, 2020
During this end-date phase applications from licensed CPA Firms that have active trademarks registered with the U.S. Patent Trademark Office with registration dates earlier than February 1, 2020 will be accepted. During the Trademark Holders Registration Period, domain names or variants of domain names that correspond to registrant trademarks, trade names or service marks will be available for registration.

Early Application Period: September 1 – October 31, 2020
During this end-date phase Registry Operator will accept applications from applications from licensed CPA Firms who commit to usage requirements. Domains will be allocated at the end of the phase after allocations for the Sunrise and Trademark Holder’s Period.

Limited Registration Period: November 5 – January 14, 2021
During this phase Registry Operator will accept applications on a First-come First-served basis from qualified registrants who commit to usage requirements. Only firms may apply for this phase.

General Availability: January 15, 2021
During this phase Registry Operator will accept applications on a First-come First-served basis from qualified registrants who commit to usage requirements. Both firms and individual CPA licensees may apply on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information, go to https://www.encirca.com/cpa/