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Secure your business’ new direct domain ‘.au’ name by 20 September 2022

Time is running out for businesses to secure their .au domain name to prevent unrelated parties disrupting their business.

.au direct domain names were launched earlier this year on 24 March 2022 by the organisation that manages Australian domain names, the Australian Domain Administration (auDA). This will allow businesses to elect to drop the .com from their web addresses.

Why is .au being introduced?

.au has been introduced, after ongoing significant public consultation, to complement the existing ‘namespaces’ (e.g., and for those domain names with direct verified connection to Australia. Its purpose is to deliver a wider choice of available names in the Australian domain, allow users to register shorter online names and provide names that are easier to type and display on mobile devices.

This will also align Australia with many other top country codes including the UK, Canada, USA and New Zealand.

To keep your business safe and undisrupted a consistent .au online presence will help to reduce risk of unwanted parties piggybacking on your online brand / domain names. It is recommended that your equivalent .au direct domain is purchased.

Eligibility for Priority Hold

All names in the registry prior to this launch -, and – have their equivalent .au match on a priority hold that is due to close soon, on the 20th September 2022.

After this time, if no application has been made for your domain name, it will become available to anyone in the general public to seek from an accredited registrar from 4 October 2022.

Data from the auDA shows that more than 3.5 million domains have already been reserved as at August 2022.

How to apply

Applications can be made through any auDA accredited registrars. To apply for a “priority hold” .au name, you must be eligible to hold the domain license that forms the basis of your Priority Status application and apply by 20th September 2022. Your eligibility for your existing .au domain will be checked when you apply.

For a list of auDA accredited registrars, click here.

How are .au names allocated

In most cases, there will only be one registrant eligible to apply for a reserved .au direct name as they will be the only holder of its match in another .au namespace (eg., and This is referred to as an uncontested name.

In these cases, the applicant will be allocated the domain name shortly after applying for Priority Status. The registrant will be able to choose a licence term of between one and five years.

For contested names (names where different registrants have the same name in different namespaces), the earlier the creation date of your current domain name the higher the priority and the more likely to be allocated your requested name. For more detailed information about contested names refer the auDA’s website here.

We strongly recommend you take action now before this important window of opportunity closes.

As always, please contact your Ruddicks advisor if you require any assistance with applying for your direct domain name.


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The content of this newsletter is general in nature. It does not constitute specific advice and readers are encouraged to consult their Ruddicks adviser on any matters of interest. Ruddicks accepts no liability for errors or omissions, or for any loss or damage suffered as a result of any person acting without such advice. This information is current as at 2 September 2022, and was published around that time. Ruddicks particularly accepts no obligation or responsibility for updating this publication for events, including changes to the law, the Australian Taxation Office’s interpretation of the law, or Government announcements arising after that time.

Any advice provided is not ‘financial product advice’ as defined by the Corporations Act. Ruddicks is not licensed to provide financial product advice and taxation is only one of the matters that you need to consider when making a decision on a financial product. You should consider seeking advice from an Australian Financial Services licensee before making any decisions in relation to a financial product. © Ruddicks 2022

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