The rule for acceptable domain names allows letters, numbers, hyphens, and periods only. For corporations and especially attorneys who include the & symbol in their name, the ampersand you use on your letterhead must be written out as “and” if you want that in your domain name. Ampersand is not allowed in domain names.
The ampersand is a reserved character in html used in code for displaying special characters and symbols. While it may not be used in a domain name, it can be displayed as text on a web page. Most people type each instance of ampersand as a single character located above the number 7 on your keyboard which is pressed while holding the shift key.
To properly display the ampersand in web page text it cannot be typed as a single character. The code to indicate the single symbol to mean the word “and” is &. Otherwise, browsers encounter just the symbol & in the html code without the extra 4 characters and it signals a special character follows immediately.
To get the & to display properly in that last paragraph of this post I actually had to type &amp; and post in html mode. Each time just & is used in the html it is a code error per W3C, so enter it properly where it is allowed and remember the “and symbol” is not allowed in domain names.
Bonus Tip: Protect your brand when choosing a domain name. Here’s a tip if your company name includes the ampersand & symbol and you decide to use the company name but leave out the word “and” in your domain name. My advice is using the one you like yet get both, as well.
To illustrate, AT&T originally chose just the ATT.com domain, and so a squatter grabbed ATandT.com likely thinking it was a gold mine. Follow this link to read the details and the ruling in the AT&T complaint filed 8 years ago. They prevailed. It took less than 90 days. Following atandt.com automatically forwards to att.com.
Squatters typically inflate the price to transfer a domain for less than the legal cost of arbitration. They’re hoping you do not have the inclination, budget, or attorneys on staff to fight. So while it’s true ampersand is not allowed in domain names, you may still want to register the company name using the word “and” to avoid potential headaches later.