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It is time for a new .AU Domain: What are the new rules, the process, the eligibility and the advantages? 

We’re sure by now you’ve heard about a new domain name that’ll soon be available in Australia. It is possible that you won’t want to use it for your Australian business. In the process, you and your business will be deprived of all the benefits associated with it.

Starting in March 2022, new domain names will be available in Australia under the .au extension. Beginning on this date, anyone, business or organization with a presence in Australia will be able to register a name of their choice directly before the .au namespace (e.g. nswitsupport.au).

Except for existing namespaces, .au domain names do not have to correspond to the names of individuals, businesses, or organizations or identify the goods or services offered.

Domain names registered under the .au namespace can be shorter and more memorable.

The application process must get directed through an accredited registrar accredited by the .au Domain Administration, and the procedure outlined below applies.

By preventing domain name squatting, this process should help. However, it is the responsibility of those legitimately interested in registering .au domain names to be aware of the deadlines and the process, as outlined below.

What is the new domain name under .au?

Small and large businesses in Australia are currently using the following domain names:

  • .com.au 
  • .net.au 

The list goes on and on.

AuDA, Australia’s domain governing body, has announced a new domain name that will be available beginning in March 2022 is .au

What is the change in the domain rule in Australia?

Providing your Australian business number (ABN) or company number (ACN) is valid; you are not affected.

The only way to satisfy the required Australian presence to register a domain under the.AU top-level domain extension is an Australian trademark application or registration. Domain names do not have to match trademark names.

Domain names registered based on an Australian trademark must be identical to the trademark. Those requirements specify that the domain name must contain a combination of words identical to and in the same order as those found on the trademark application or registration in Australia.

The condition that they do not contain domain name system (DNS) identifiers such as COM.AU, punctuation marks, or articles such as “a,” “the,” “and,” “of,” and “and.”.

Eligibility for the .com.au and .net.au domain names – Australian and international traders

According to the New Rules, there has been a slight change in eligibility criteria for domain holders of .com.au and .net.au. The new standards are:

An Australian registered entity

A company registered in Australia or an entity with a valid ABN in Australia is eligible to register a .com.au or .net.au domain name that is:

  •  If the trademark, business name, or company name is held by them directly or by a related Australian entity; 
  •  They deal with anything they deal with, such as services, goods, events, activities, or premises. Due to the synonym’s objective nature, the new eligibility criteria should provide greater assurance than the former ‘close or substantial connection’ test. 

A foreign entity’s eligibility

Foreign entities may register domain names under the .com.au and .net.au top-level domains if they exactly match any word in the name of Australian trademark registration.

Exact matching means the domain name must match the trademark precisely and include all words that appear in the trademark in their original order, excluding DNS identifiers and minor changes such as ‘the’.

What is the impact of not taking the new domain .au?

After the new rules are implemented, non-compliant domain names must be corrected before being renewed. Failing to comply could result in the domain being suspended or cancelled.

The domain name cannot be transferred or renewed once it has been cancelled. In this case, it will be purged from the registry’s records and will be made available to the public for registration.

Advantages of taking the .au domain for your Australian business

Shorten your business’s URL

It can benefit your business to have a short, memorable URL in the online space.

Moreover, it will help your brand appear more professional in print and display formats and make your brand more easily searchable online. It will be possible to add various URL options to microsites and new landing pages to support online marketing.

These days, most brand awareness and purchases take place on our mobile devices, so opt for a short domain name that is easier to remember.

A reliable Australian domain

The .au direct domain further emphasizes your Australian presence without the need for much explanation. It gives your business a more trustworthy and reliable reputation to online customers while still leaving room for creativity. It functions similarly to .com.au but is four characters shorter.
Having a .au direct domain can give your potential and younger customers more confidence in clicking on your URL during an online search.

With more options now available, you can choose a domain name that suits your needs as a business owner or have established a business without an online presence. You may want to consider a .au direct domain name if your company operates mainly in Australia and/or if your target audience is especially Australians.

If you want to make an informed decision about your domain name, having another option can help.

Protecting your brand from theft

Your brand is protected against online scammers when registering your .au direct domain name. Fraudulent activity against your existing and potential customers will not be possible with your .au immediate domain.

As a result, your brand name is protected and under your control. With less chance for your brand to be tarnished, you can keep building trust with your current customers.

Process for registering in the .au domain in Australia 

There is nothing complicated about registering a .com.au or .net.au domain name for your business. Before starting, make sure you have the correct information and meet the eligibility requirements.

With the instructions in this blog post, you can have your very own .au domain name in no time.

Register an ABN

Business numbers (ABNs) and company numbers (ACNs) are required to register .com.au and .net.au domain names and operate a business in Australia.

Visit the Australian Business Register online to register an ABN. Registering is free of charge, and as long as you provide the correct information, the account will be available immediately.

Choosing a Business Name

You must register a business name if you want to trade under something other than your legal name. It is possible to do this online through the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

There is a cost for registering a business name on ASIC’s website, and you will receive a confirmation within two to five business days. For business registration, you will need a current ABN.

Choosing a domain name before registering your business name is a good idea if the business name you want is taken.

Domain Name Selection & registering it

It would be best if you chose a domain name that is short and relevant to your business or brand.

Activated ABN. Check! Registered company name. Verified! Choose your favorite domain name. Done! Your registrar has been chosen. Confirm!

The domain name can get registered.

There may be a search box on the registrar’s homepage, but the registration process varies from registrar to registrar. Choose the .com.au domain (or the .net.au if you wish; so that nobody else takes it) and then proceed to checkout by following the bouncing ball. The registration period ranges from 1 to 5 years, and you’ll be asked to enter your ABN shortly after.