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.au domains are here! Everything you need to know!

Attention Australian Business Owners! Did you hear the news? As of 24th March 2022 you can register for .au domain names.

.au is a brand new domain extension available to any individual, business or organisation that has a connection to Australia. So if you own yummytacos.com.au you can register for yummytacos.au.

.au domains are being marketed as short, sweet, memorable and Australian. Which is great, but what’s more important to me personally is securing a domain that protects my business and brand.

Now I’m sure you’ve got the same questions I had, so I’ve laid out some answers below.

Am I eligible for a .au domain?

If you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident or have a business/organisation registered in Australia, then yes.

The auDA website state the only requirement to register for a .au is…

A Person applying for a licence in the .au direct namespace must have an Australian presence and.au direct domain names will be allocated according to the Priority allocation process set out in the .au Direct Priority Rules. 

https://www.auda.org.au/policy/au-domain-administration-rules-licensing

Meaning it’s available to more people. The other domain extensions have more requirements, for example to register a .com.au domain you need to be a registered business or company and your domain needs to be directly related to your business.

You can read the all the .au domains’ eligibility requirements here.

Do I need to buy a .au domain?

Nope you don’t, but I would suggest you seriously consider it. If you don’t secure it for yourself then you run the risk of someone else grabbing it. I don’t know about you but I’d be pretty annoyed if someone else bought my domain and started stealing a chunk of my online traffic.

VentraIP makes it a bit of a no brainer as they are offering first year registration for $8.67/year.

Can I keep my existing domain if I purchase a .au?

Yes you can, and I would recommend you hold onto it as well.

How do I register for a .au domain?

You will have 6 months to register for Priority Status from 24 March 2022 to 20 September 2022. During this period anyone can apply for the .au domain at the end of that period if you are the only register then it is yours. In the event of multiple people registering for the same domain auDA has a full Priority Allocation Process outlined (or read the next question 😉 ).

There are a number of online providers you can register through and prices will vary, I would recommend either of the following two.

If you already have your domains registered with either of these providers, the next time you login you will likely be prompted to register your interest.

When you register for your domain you will need a Priority Register Token that you can get from here.

What if someone else wants the same domain as me?

There are 3 potential scenarios on how this can play out.

First you need to know the difference between Category 1 and Category 2 applicants.

  • Category 1: Your domain was registered BEFORE the Priority Status cut-off date of 4 February 2018.
  • Category 2: Your domain was registered AFTER the Priority Status cut off date of 4 February 2018.

So the 3 potential scenarios…

1. There are both Category 1 and Category 2 applicants

This is simple, Category 1 applicants have priority and will be allocated the domain over Category 2.

Example

  • Sally bought yummytacos.com.au on 1 January 2015
  • Bob bought yummytacos.net.au on 1 January 2021

Sally will have priority to register for yummytacos.au as she purchased her domain before 4 February 2018.

2. There are multiple Category 1 applicants

This is where it gets complex, if multiple Category 1 applicants register then they must agree amongst themselves who gets it. If they cannot come to an agreement then the domain will remain unregistered until an agreement has been made.

Example

  • Sally bought yummytacos.com.au on 1 January 2015
  • Bob bought yummytacos.net.au on 1 January 2016

Sally and Bob will need to negotiate amongst themselves about who will register the .au domain. If they cannot come to an agreement then the .au will stay unregistered. Every year they will need to renew their application until there is only a single application.

3. There are multiple Category 2 applicants

This is again straight forward, if multiple Category 2 applicants register then it will be allocated to whoever registered their domain first.

Example

  • Sally bought yummytacos.com.au on 1 January 2021
  • Bob bought yummytacos.net.au on 2 January 2021

Sally will be allocated yummytacos.au as her domain was registered before Bob’s.

The auDA has outlined the full Priority Allocation Process you can read all about it on their website, and if you’re unsure of what category you are you can check using the Priority Status Tool.

Where can I read more about .au domains?

If you want to read up more than my summary then check out the following resources.

auDA Website – the Godfather of Aussie domains

Afilias – official auDA partner

Google Domains

VentraIP – domain registrar

If you’re on the fence about whether to register for a .au domain I’d say go for it and then reassess down the track. If you want to talk it out with someone then send me a message to discuss.

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