New domain names

Date: 10 August 2022

A major shakeup to the domain names environment means names can be registered in the ".au" domain.

Previously, the Australian-linked domain names available to most businesses in Australia were limited to .com.au and .net.au.

If a business wants to secure a .au domain name that matches their existing domain names, a priority system is now available and runs until 20 September 2022.

Businesses can use this priority system to register their current domain name, with the new ".au" namespace.

If two entities make a priority claim for the same .au domain name, their priority claims will be assessed based on the respective creation dates of their original domain name. Specifically:

  • first priority will be given to domain names that were created before 4 February 2018 and second priority to any domain names created after that cut-off date;
  • if both holders have first priority domain names (based on their respective creation dates), they must negotiate between themselves who will be allocated the identical .au domain name; and
  • if both holders have second priority, the holder with the earliest creation date will be allocated the .au domain name.

Unlike the ".com.au" or ".net.au" domains, there is no requirement for the registrant to have registered a company name, business name, trust name or trade mark which corresponds to the domain name.

If a business has previously been unable to register a particular domain name under .com.au or .net.au due to availability or eligibility issues, they can check after 20 September 2022 to see if they can register the equivalent .au domain name.

From 20 September, the .au version of an existing domain name will be available on a 'first come, first served' basis – and could therefore be adopted by a third party that has no connection to the business located at that existing domain name.

.au domain name registration costs approximately $25 a year.

Contact: The Guild
Phone: 13GUILD

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Page last updated on: 10 August 2022