Domain names: “.au” or “.com.au”? That is the question

While we know all about .com.au domains and how they can be used, there’s a new kid on the block! In March 2022, .au Domain Administration Limited (auDA) launched the direct .au domain name. This is intended to provide an easier way to show that your website has a direct association with Australia.

How to get a .au domain name?

Australian registrants of second level domain names .com.au, .net.au, .org.au, etc. can still get priority for a direct matching .au domain name, provided they register before September 20, 2022. After that date, they will have to wait for the general release on October 4, 2022.

Priority registration can be done in 3 steps:

Step 1: Receive a priority token of https://priority.auda.org.au/.

2nd step: Request the corresponding name (for example, forexample.au) from your domain name reseller.

Step 3: If your reseller does not offer services to obtain a .au domain, go to https://getyour.au/ and use the services of all registrars listed on this page.

Why secure .au. direct domain name?

When you own a direct .au domain name, it’s shorter and easier to view on mobile devices. It is also believed to have a lower cybercrime rate than second-level domains. This is due to a number of factors.

  • Required validation carried out prior to registration, which ensures that the registrant has an Australian presence provable by an ABN, ACN, registered trademark or license or passport issued by Australia.
  • Checks after registration, relating to the validation and use of the site, are carried out by auDA.
  • There is a complaints process in place for third parties to report infringing ownership of .au domains.

Practically, a direct .au domain name registration will also provide trademark protection. It would be disastrous for your business if a third party acquired the .au domain, for example www.bunnings.auWhere www.uppercutdeluxe.aubecause it risks diverting sales from your business.

Finally, from a cybersecurity perspective, you should seek to secure the .au domain to prevent third parties from acquiring it and launching phishing attacks on your customers.

Can anyone secure one?

Securing a .au domain name is extremely simple. As mentioned above, all you need is either:

  • an Australian presence evidenced by an Australian Business Number (ABN);
  • an Australian company name (ACN) via ASIC;
  • trademark; Where
  • a license or passport issued by Australia.

Then after October 4, 2022, you can get one by visiting this link for https://getyour.au/or contact us and our IP Team can do it for you.

Be aware, however, that unlike other domain listings, registrant details are made public. The rationale for this is to ensure that registrants can be held accountable.

Additionally, of significant importance to overseas businesses with existing .com.au and/or net.au domains, there are two important requirements to enable the acquisition and maintenance of a .au domain name.

  1. They must have an Australian registered trademark.
  2. The domain name must match their trademark exactly.