Australian businesses may apply before 20 September 2022 to reserve or register new .au direct domain names. These are described by the Australian Government as “simpler” new options for web and email addresses.

What is a .au direct domain name?

.au direct domain names are shorter, as they omit the usual ‘.com’, ‘.net’ or ‘.org’ extension before the '.au' suffix. As your business already uses a .com.au, .net.au or .org.au domain name, it may have priority to reserve the equivalent .au address as an additional domain name.

How can you reserve a .au direct domain name for your business?

There are several eligibility criteria for reserving a .au domain name, and specific approaches for resolving any priority clashes in the allocation process. In general though, the reservation process is straightforward. Here are the steps:

  1. Enter your existing .com.au, .org.au or .net.au domain name on the .au direct reservation webpage.
  2. You will receive an email with a unique reservation code, at the registered email address of your existing domain's registered contact person. Enter the unique code on the reservation webpage. Your reservation confirmation and .au direct priority status will be displayed.
  3. If your reservation status is other than first priority, then the .au Domain Authority’s (auDA) contested names process will be used to clear the priority contentions.

What’s the deadline to reserve an eligible .au direct domain name?

Whether you wish to claim it as your own, or merely prevent an unscrupulous ‘dot-COMpetitor’ from possibly doing so, you should consider reserving the .au direct domain name for your business before the reservation period ends on 20 September 2022.

After 20 September, and subject to clearing any priority conflicts, you will be able to register the .au direct domain name for your business and choose whether you start to use it.

Considerations

auDA says any unclaimed .au direct names will be “released from priority hold” as of 4 October 2022, and available for registration by the public after this time.

So, if you don’t register the .au direct match of your business domain name soon, there’s a genuine possibility a third party may claim it. In this situation, it could be difficult – and even costly – to retake control of this key brand asset in future.