State finance minister Markus Söder of the Christian Social Union (CSU) was the trailblazer for the project and made sure that his ministry was accessible at www.finanzministerium.bayern a day early on Monday.
“Regions, towns, companies, clubs and ordinary people can position themselves better online and clearly express their connection to the Free State with the .bayern ending,” Söder said on Monday.
The politician visited the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in Los Angeles in April to appeal for aid in his quest for internet self-sufficiency from .de.
He asked the American nonprofit, which is in charge of assigning internet addresses, to give Bavaria its own Top Level Domain (TLD) – the final part of the address users type into their browsers or use for email.
The state had to settle for a TLD containing its full name as the two-letter possibilities .ba, .bn and .by were already taken by Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brunei and Belarus respectively.
Regensburg-based company InternetX will administer the new TLD, selling the addresses to anyone who wants to make their allegiance to Bavaria explicit online.
“As a Bavarian company, we're very happy to offer .bayern,” InternetX founder Hakan Ali told the Mittelbayerische Zeitung.
It costs between €30 and €60 to register for a .bayern domain, depending on your internet provider. The Süddeutsche Zeitung reported that Audi, Erdinger, Apple and Twitter had already bought the Bavarian domain.
The domain is one of over 1000 TLDs to be added in 2014, as ICANN has drastically enlarged its address book.
Berlin and Hamburg have already launched their respective domains, which have become among the most popular of the new roster.
Around 139,000 people and organizations have staked a claim to their corner of the capital's online territory since March, making it the second most popular of the new TLDs worldwide.