The biz TLD was created to relieve some of the demand for domain names in the com top-level domain, and to provide an alternative for businesses whose preferred domain name in com had already been registered by another party. There are no specific legal or geographic qualifications to register a biz domain name, except that it must be for "bona fide business or commercial use". It was created in 2001 along with several other domains as the first batch of new gTLDs approved by ICANN in the expansion of the Domain Name System following the increased interest in Internet commerce in the late 1990s. The TLD is administered by NeuStar and registrations are processed via accredited registrars.
In contrast to other newly installed top-level domains, the biz registry did not implement a sunrise period to grant trademark owners first chance at registration, but instead used a procedure whereby they could file intellectual property claims in advance and then challenge any eventual registrant through a policy named Startup Trademark Opposition Policy (STOP). A number of domains were successfully obtained by trademark owners from other registrants through this policy; some of the more controversial cases, where generic words were taken over based on trademark claims in a process deemed "reverse hijacking" by critics[who?], included that of paint.biz andCanadian.biz, the latter being reversed by a court decision.