The first major step in becoming an ICANN accredited registrar is to decide if you want to purchase an existing registrar or apply for ICANN accreditation.
Buying an ICANN accredited registrar will most likely allow you to get your business up and running a lot faster than applying for the accreditation. The price of an accredited registrar is typically around $10,000. There might be other fees associated with buying a registrar like lawyer consultation fees. One major up side in buying an existing registrar is that you will start with clients. The business will also be up and running a lot quicker than it would be if you are applying for ICANN accreditation. Most registrars that are available for purchase will allow their clients to purchase .COM or .NET names, but not all of them will allow it. There are registrars out there that will not allow their users to register .COM or .NET, instead they offer other TLDs like .XYZ or .CLUB. This can be a pro or a con depending on what you plan to do with the registrar, so it is best to research the registrar you are planning to buy.
Before buying an existing registrar, you should be aware of what contractual agreement the registrar currently has. You do not want to be buying into something that might limit what you plan to do with the company. When buying a registrar, you will have to notify ICANN of the change in ownership of the registrar. You will probably have to go through ICANN’s Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA).
The other open is to apply for ICANN accreditation. One thing to note is about the application process is that it will cost $3,500 to apply. The major benefit from apply for an ICANN accreditation is that you will have no prior obligation from any contractual agreements. You can develop your own brand without any limitations like purchasing an existing company. One major issue with applying for ICANN accreditation is that it might take months before you can get your application processed.
If you are in no rush in getting an ICANN accreditation, it might be better to apply for ICANN accreditation. While it can take months to get the application processed, you have more control of what you can do with the registrar. There will be no previous contractual obligations and you can ensure that it will not have any negative connotations attached to the brand.