From March 24 there are short au-domains like yourcompany.au. The difference to com.au-Domains: you only need to prove a relationship to Australia to get yourcompany.au and no longer need to own a registered company or trademark in Australia.
This is a great chance for companies from US and UK: We know that google.com.au and Australian search engines prefer websites with au-Domains. Companies from the USA and UK - and also from other countries - can get now au-Domains without a registered company in Australia. They could build or use their existing websites with the new au-Domain and will be listed at Google.com.au.
The Australian registry recently announced that a new domain namespace for short au-Domains will be available on March 24, 2022. With this new extension, you can register your domain name right before .au, for example: mycompany.au or newdomain.au.
What is the advantage of short au-Domain?
The new .au namespace is shorter, cleaner and more memorable. Domain names represent your business on the Internet, they are often the first place a customer looks, and they can be a valuable asset to your business and brand identity. The new au-Domains will also be available to more businesses than ever before.
Who can apply?
Anyone with an Australian presence or a local connection to Australia can register. The eligibility criteria are more relaxed than those for .com.au or .org.au, which have specific award criteria. This means that a wider range of domain names is available to a broader group of applicants.
If you already own a .com.au namespace (e.g. yourcompany.com.au), you can claim priority for the direct equivalent of your current domain name(e.g. yourcompany.au) during the first six months from March 24, 2022 (known as the priority award period). This means that the equivalent short au-Domain name will be reserved and will not be available to the public during the priority period, giving the current holder the first chance to register.
If more than one person is eligible to register the short au-Domain (e.g., one person owns .com.au and another owns .net.au), a conflict arises and priority for registration is determined by the earliest date of domain creation - before February 4, 2018 (Category 1 - first priority) or after February 4, 2018 (Category 2 - second priority). If a conflict remains (for example, if there are two Category 1 applicants), the parties must resolve it through agreement or negotiation.
You can apply for priority status and we can assist you. We can assist you in this process. In the meantime, we recommend that you check that the details of your current domain name registration are up to date, especially if you wish to claim priority for the direct .au namespace. We also recommend that you have your mark protected as a trademark, as this ensures the exclusivity of the name and is a useful tool in domain name disputes.
The content of this article is intended as a general guide on this topic. With respect to your specific circumstances, you should seek expert advice.