As of Thursday, 24 March 2022, businesses with an existing .com.au, .org.au or .net.au namespace can register for a new ‘.au’ domain namespace.
For example, if your business — let’s call it Dolly’s Dog Washing — has a website with a current a domain of dollysdogwashing.com.au, you can register to also claim dollysdogwashing.au.
This priority allocation period will last until 20 September 2022, where your domain could be up for grabs by absolutely anyone.
The availability of .au is the biggest change to this area in Australia since the 1980s, so it’s something new for most people.
Here is what you need to know about the new .au domains available for purchase, including if you need one, how to register for your .au domain and more.
What You Need to Know About .au Domains
Who can register for a .au?
If you are applying for a .au before 20 September 2022, you will need to have an existing .com.au, .org.au or .net.au domain namespace, as well as meet current domain administration registration rules.
After the 20 September 2022, anyone who meets the above linked criteria will be able to apply for a .au domain.
Where someone who owns the .com.au is different to an owner of the .org.au or .net.au namespace and both parties are applying for the ownership of the .au, it will be determined by:
If there is a category 1 applicant, meaning if the applicant created their domain prior to 4 February 2018, they would take ownership over someone who created the domain after this date.
If there are only category 1 applicants, the domain allocated based on an agreement or negotiation between the applicants.
If there are only category 2 applicants, the name would be given to the applicant who applied for the name first.
Who should register for their .au?
If you have a business in Australia catering to an Australian audience, you should register for your .au domain namespace.
Many are claiming the announcement of the .au availablity is a cash grab, but regardless of if it is or not, it doesn’t change the fact there are benefits behind claiming your own .au.
Benefits of claiming your .au domain:
- It protects your brand and business. Only one person can hold a specific domain namespace at any one time, so there is a chance someone could claim your business name before you if they really wanted to do so. You may be able to claim it back under if it’s a case of cybersquatting but getting in first saves you a lot of hassle. Plus, it saves you from potential scams being registered under a URL containing your business name, if the wrong person were to get hold of it.
- It can improve trust in your business. Eligibility for a .au and similar domains requires you to have an Australian presence. When consumers see this in your website URL, they feel confident they are buying from an Australian business or someone registered to sell in Australia.
- The shorter URL makes it easier to remember. Sure, .com, .net or .org only adds three letters and a character, but in today’s digital age, attention spans are short. The shorter your URL, the easier it will be to remember, which means your business is easier to remember.
Where can you get a .au domain?
To register a .au domain, you will need to go through a participating auDA-accredited domain registrar or reseller, like Localsearch.
Contact your current hosting or web management service and see if they are able to register a .au in your current domain namespace. This will likely incur a cost.
Be wary of cheap domain name offers as there may be hidden fees, not include privacy protection or support services may be costly.
When can you register for .au?
Registrations for .au open on Thursday, 24 March 2022 for those with an existing .com.au, .org.au and/or .net.au domain namespace. For those without that existing domain, registrations will open on the 20 September 2022.
However, many participating registrars and resellers are taking pre-registrations, including Localsearch. Contact our domain specialists now for more information.
Where can you stay up to date on news on .au?
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