What is the new ‘.au’ domain name?

The ‘.au’ domain name has been launched as a shorter and simpler option for Australian web and email addresses (such as ‘.com.au’ and ‘.org.au’), with the new domain name option simply ending in ‘.au’ (for example, business.au).

What does this mean for your business?

Eligible domain name holders (ie holders of existing domain names registered prior to 24 March 2022) have until 20 September 2022 to apply for priority status to register the equivalent ‘.au’ domain name of their existing domain name. For example, the holder of business.com.au will be eligible for priority status of the equivalent business.au. There is a priority allocation process in place to help determine contested ownership of the same domain name (for instance, where registrants of the business.com.au and business.org.au domain names each apply for the business.au domain name).

Once the priority period ends, any ‘.au’ domain name not already allocated will become available to the general public for registration. While a failure to register the ‘.au’ equivalent domain name will not prejudice your current domain name registration, it could result in your business being targeted by other parties (including cyber criminals and squatters).

What you should do

Registering a domain name is a low-cost and straightforward process. Businesses with Australian web and email addresses holders should act now to apply for priority status of their ‘.au’ equivalent domain name through an auDA accredited registrar.

This article was written with the assistance of Meher Kyani, Graduate Lawyer.