com.au is the namespace for businesses or commercial entities in Australia.
There are rules around who can register com.au or net.au names (eligibility) and what names they choose (allocation). These rules are identical for com.au and net.au names and help ensure that these namespaces remain trusted and Australian.
If you already hold or are intending to register a name in the com.au namespace it’s very important you are aware of and understand these rules as you are required to meet eligibility and allocation requirements for your com.au or net.au name throughout its entire licence period, not just at the time of registration. If you don’t meet the requirements for your name, you risk having it suspended or deleted if a complaint is raised.
The eligibility and allocation rules for com.au names can be found at 2.4.4 of the .au Domain Administration Rules: Licensing.
Note: If your current licence period began before 12 April 2021, your com.au or net.au name is subject to the legacy Published Policies. You can use this tool to find out.
Eligibility – who can apply for a com.au or net.au domain name?
Eligibility rules determine who can hold a name in a particular namespace.
To be eligible for a com.au or net.au name the registrant must have an Australian presence and be a commercial entity.
The following kinds of commercial entity are eligible for com.au or net.au domain names:
- a company under the Corporations Act 2001(Cth);
- a Commonwealth entity as defined in section 10 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013(Cth);
- a Registrable Body under the Corporations Act 2001(Cth);
- an Incorporated Association under State or Territory legislation;
- an entity or natural Person issued with an Australian Business Number under the A New Tax System (Australian Business Number) Act 1999 (Cth);
- a Statutory Body under Commonwealth, State or Territory legislation that engages in trade or commerce;
- a Trust issued with an Australian Business Number, but does not include a charitable trust or a public or private ancillary fund;
- an Incorporated limited partnership under State and Territory legislation;
- a Trading Cooperative under State and Territory legislation;
- Government, being either the Crown or a Commonwealth, State or Territory statutory agency; or
- a foreign legal entity or natural person who holds or has applied for an Australian Trade Mark.
Allocation – what com.au or net.au name can you choose.
Allocation rules define how a name needs to relate to a registrant.
For com.au and net.au the domain name you apply for must be:
(a) a match of the Person’s company, business, statutory or Personal name; or
(b) an acronym of the Person’s company, business, statutory or Personal name; or
(c) a match of the Person’s Australian Trade Mark; or
(d) a match to or an acronym of a name of a related body corporate or
(e) a match or an acronym of a name of:
(i) a partnership of which the Person is a partner;
(ii) a trust of which the Person is a trustee; or
(f) a match or synonym of the name of:
(i) a service that the Person provides;
(ii) goods that the Person sells (whether retail or wholesale);
(iii) an event that the Person registers or sponsors;
(iv) an activity that the Person facilitates, teaches or trains;
(v) premises which the Person operates
and which that Person is providing at the time of the application.
Note: Where a registrant is relying on an Australian trade mark (or application for one) to meet the Australian presence test, the name applied for must be an exact match of the words in the trademark.
To be a 'match' the name must be identical to one, some or all of words or numbers used in the Person’s legal name, business name or Australian Trade Mark. The domain name must use the words or numbers in the same order as they appear in the Person’s legal name, business name or Australian Trade Mark and must not include any additional words or numbers. The following are not included:
- commercial status identifiers such as ‘Pty Ltd’;
- DNS identifiers such as com.au;
- punctuation marks such as an exclamation point or an apostrophe;
- articles such as ‘a’, ‘the’, ‘and ’or ‘of’; and
To be a 'synonym' the name must be a word or phrase that means exactly or nearly the same thing as another word in the English language. Whether a word or phrase is a synonym will be determined by reference to the Oxford Australian Dictionary or Oxford Australian Thesaurus.
Category: Registering a name