Australia launched the .au direct domain name on 24 March 2022, giving businesses the option to register a short, memorable .au domain name for websites and email addresses. The deadline to make a priority pre-registration for your business’ .au domain is 20 September 2022.
Here’s what you need to know about the new .au domain names in Australia: what they mean for your business, eligibility, benefits and how to apply.
Why is the new .au domain namespace being introduced?
Introducing the .au domain space offers more choice for businesses to register a short, localised domain name and grow their digital brand.
The new .au domain namespace is what’s known as the ‘country code Top Level Domain’ (ccTLD) for Australia. It is designed to complement the existing Australian domain namespaces, such as com.au, edu.au, gov.au and org.au.
Existing domain names in the .au will continue to operate, meaning you can own multiple domains (such as .com.au and .au) for your business website.
Who is eligible for an .au domain name?
.au domain names are available to any business with a current Australian presence. This includes:
- Permanent Australian residents and citizens
- Australian registered companies
- Australian partnerships and sole traders
- Owners of an Australian registered trademark
- Australian registered charities
- Australian registered political parties
- Trusts where the trustee is an Australian citizen
- Foreign companies licensed to trade in Australia
What are the benefits of an .au domain name?
The new .au domain names create many opportunities for small businesses. For example, they are shorter and easier to remember. They also signal to users that your business has a connection with Australia, helping you build a local and relevant online presence.
But most importantly, by shortening your business' domain name, you'll be able to further protect your business against cyber criminals. The Australian Cyber Security Centre has recommended that businesses register their business under the .au direct equivalent prior to the cut-off date, to prevent cybercriminals from impersonating their business.
In addition to the above, registering an .au direct domain name can be a great opportunity for existing Australian businesses and entrepreneurs to promote one-off events or campaigns. Examples include:
- Registering a shorter domain for your existing business (yourbusinessname.au)
- Registering your name in .au to create a professional online portfolio (yoursurname.au) and email address (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Registering your marketing campaign name to launch a new product (yourcampaginname.au)