New .au Policy Framework

The rules for .COM.AU and .NET.AU domains are changing at the registry on April 12, 2021. This affects currently registered and newly created domains, which will have to meet new eligibility requirements.

Registrants using a valid Australian Business Number (ABN) or Australian Company Number (ACN) as eligibility will not be impacted by the rule changes.

For foreign entities relying on a trademark to satisfy Australian presence requirements only the Exact Match of the trademark is permitted. This applies to new registrations and renewals. Foreign registrants wishing to renew a domain name that does not match the trademark must either apply for the additional mark or satisfy the Australian presence requirement in another way such as registering a local business – information on this can be found by visiting Registering for an ABN. If you’re unable to satisfy the requirement then your domain cannot be renewed.

An Exact Match means that the domain must include all the words in the order which they appear in the Australian Trademark, excluding;

  • DNS identifiers such as .com.au
  • Punctuation marks such as an exclamation point or an apostrophe
  • Articles such as ‘a’, ‘the’, ‘and’, or ‘of’
  • Ampersands

EXAMPLE:

  • Under the new rules, if your trademark is "A Pretty Horse Carousels", you could register:
    • aprettyhorsecarousels.com.au
    • prettyhorsecarousels.net.au
  • You could not register:
    • phc.com.au
    • carousels.net.au
    • aprettyhorse.com.au
    • horsecarousels.com.au

What if I don't have an ABN/ACN?

In order to register a .com.au or.net.au domain, you are required to have a valid ABN/ACN. If you do not have one, you will not be able to register a domain.

You can apply for an ABN on the ABR website.

What if my ABN/ACN has been cancelled?

Registrants who have previously registered domain names using an ABN/ACN which has since been cancelled must re-apply for their ABN at the ABR in order to qualify for a domain renewal. Further information on re-applying can be found on the ABR website.

A .com.au and .net.au registrant must be one of the following with a valid published ABN/ACN/ARBN or AU Trademark:

  • An Australian registered company.
  • Trading under a registered business name in any Australian State or Territory.
  • An Australian partnership or sole trader.
  • A foreign company licensed to trade in Australia.
  • An owner of an Australian Registered Trade Mark.
  • An applicant for an Australian Registered Trade Mark.
  • An association incorporated in any Australian State or Territory.
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