The effect of Hf on the permanent magnetism of nanocrystalline Zr18-xHfxCo82 ribbons (x = 0, 2, 4, and 6) was investigated by magnetic properties measurement and magnetic force microscopy (MFM). Emphasis is on the local magnetic domain structures in polycrystalline rapidly solidified Zr18-xHfxCo82 ribbons for four different samples with small fractions of Hf dopants (x ≤ 6). The investigation of the magnetic properties of the Zr18-xHfxCo82 ribbons revealed that all the samples under investigation are ferromagnetic at room temperature, and the corresponding MFM images show bright and dark contrast patterns with up-down magnetic domain structures. It is found that the saturation magnetization and the coercivity depend on Hf doping concentration x in the samples. For a sample with Hf concentration x = 4, the maximum energy product (BH)max value is 3.7 MGOe. The short magnetic correlation length of 131 nm and smallest root-mean-square phase shift value of 0.680 were observed for x = 4, which suggests the refinement of the magnetic domain structure due to weak intergranular exchange coupling in this sample. The above results indicate that suitable Hf addition is helpful for the magnetic domain structure refinement, the coecivity enhancement, and the energy-product improvement of this class of rare-earth-free nanocrystalline permanent-magnet materials.