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 organisation 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 lawyers, accountants, physicians and engineers in France, Canada, Germany, UK and the US.
In March 2005, the registrar EnCirca introduced its controversial ProForwarding service which enabled unverified individuals 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
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.