Get ready for .au domains
We love shortening names for things in Australia, soon we can shorten our domain names too! The new .au domains will be short, simple, and very Australian.
auDA, the governing body of domain names in Australia, will launch .au direct names on March 24, 2022. Find out what this might mean for your domain name.
For most people and businesses, if you’re already a registrant of an eligible domain (such as a .com.au or .net.au), when the .au domains launch you’ll have until September 20 2022 to indicate whether you intend to apply for the exact match of your existing domain with the .au extension.
So if you have already registered mybusinessname.com.au you’ll be able to indicate that you want to apply to register mybusinessname.au – because it’s an existing .com.au already it’ll be held in Priority Allocation while you make your choice.
If you choose not to apply for the exact match of a name it will become generally available.
Check your domain priority status
If you’ve registered an eligible domain, you can check the status of your domain using auDA’s priority status tool. You don’t have to include the end, just the name itself is fine. E.g. searching for mybusinessname instead of mybusinessname.com.au will work just fine.
When you enter your domain name, the results will indicate if any other versions of the same name are currently registered.
If there aren’t any others listed – or you are the registrant of all of the variations that are listed – and you apply for priority status before the cut-off date, you should get the .au domain.
Sounds simple enough, what’s the catch?If you’ve registered an alternative .com.au or .net.au for your business because someone else had the domain you really wanted, this is where it gets trickier. If there are others listed for your domain, you may be in competition with those other owners for the .au extension and certain criteria starts to become applicable.
It’s also important to note that the domains must match completely. If mybusinessname.com.au was not available and you registered my-business-name.com.au or mybusinessnameaustralia.com.au instead, then you are not eligible to nominate for priority status for the mybusinessname.au domain.
Let’s say the following domains are all registered to different people:
mybusinessname.com.au, mybusinessname.edu.au, mybusinessname.net.au, and mybusinessname.org.au
Each person wants to obtain the .au extension for their domain, so the following now applies:
- If only one person has owned one of those domains before February 4, 2018 (Category 1) and they apply for Priority Status, they will get the .au extension.
- If there are multiple people that have owned their domain before February 4, 2018, all applicants have to agree who gets it – or it remains reserved indefinitely until only a single applicant remains. Each eligible person will need to continue to renew their application for the domain name each year.
- If there are only people that have domains registered after February 4, 2018 (Category 2), whichever domain has earliest creation date will get the .au domain. Note that when a domain is transferred between registrants or registrars, the creation date remains the same. If a name expires and is purged from the registry and then re-registered, the creation date will be the date it was re-registered.
All dates mentioned have been set by auDA, and – while we don’t believe they will be changed – it’s best to keep an eye out as they get closer.
March 24 2022 onward
Registrants of eligible .au domain names will have the chance to apply for the exact match of their domain name with the .au extension.
If you’re registering a brand new .com.au / .id.au / .org.au / .net.au domain name, you can also apply for priority status of the .au version too.
September 20 2022
Any .au domain name not already on hold will be released to the general market for registration.
Things to note
Circle Media very strongly recommend that you apply for the .au version of any eligible domains during the priority allocation period; this will help prevent any confusion in future should .au domains become the norm.
It’s very important to note that registering for the priority allocation does not guarantee you’ll get the .au, unless you are the only one that owns any or all of the mybusinessname.***.au extensions.
Your eligibility to hold the .au domain name extension will be checked when you apply.
You will need to apply for the priority status, even if there are no other eligible parties.
The cost to register a .au domain extension will be the same as the current .com.au extension. This cost does vary from registrar to registrar.
Everything will happen via your registrar; some registrars may charge an administration fee for the priority status application.
For those of you that manage your own domain, keep an eye out for information from your registrar as the date approaches. If Circle Media manage your domain, you will hear more from us.