New .AU domains are available for preregistration
From 24th March 2022 it will become possible to register a domain name directly under .AU (instead of .com.au, .org.au etc).
In the first 6 months following the launch, current holders of existing 3rd level .AU domain names (e.g. yourdomain.com.au or yourdomain.org.au) will have a priority right to claim the corresponding name directly under .AU.
In cases where different registrants hold the license to the same string under different 3rd level .AU domain extensions, there is a set of rules in place to resolve these contention domains.
Please note that once the 6 months priority application period has expired, you will lose your right to pursue these names and they will become publicly available for registration on a first-come-first-served basis.
In a previous incarnation I worked for a domain registration provider who specialised in managing domain name portfolios for Fortune 500 companies. Some of these companies had thousands of domains registered, for all of their various brand names in all different available domain endings. Most of these domains were only registered for defensive reasons, i.e. to prevent anyone else from registering them.
While I wouldn’t advocate for small businesses to register many variations of their name, it would be worth considering the consequences of a competitor or fraudster registering yourbusinessname.au. Personally I’ve applied to register ondetto.au just in case the .au ending becomes more popular than .com.au in the future, and to prevent others from registering it.
To ensure you don’t miss out, here are a few important things to remember when pre-registering:
- Eligibility to register a .au direct domain is subject to priority allocation rules established by auDA, and you can check your priority status by clicking this link.
- To register a .au direct domain, you must provide evidence of an Australian presence, which means you must have a valid ABN/ACN or Australian Trade Mark that matches your third-level Australian domain validation details before applying.
- Please note that to successfully pre-register your .au direct domain your registration details need to be an exact match on both domains:
- Matching Registrant
- Matching Registrant ID (Active ABN/ACN/TM)
- Matching Eligibility Type
You can review your registrant information recorded with WHOIS lookup to check these details and ensure your application will be successful. If your domain was registered some time ago, we recommend you check that the ABN/ACN details are correct and active, otherwise this will also fail auDA’s validation requirements.