The org.au namespace is the trusted namespace for Australian Charities and not-for-profits.
There are rules around who can register org.au names (eligibility) and what names they choose (allocation). These rules help ensure that the org.au namespace remains trusted and Australian.
If you already hold or are intending to register a name in the org.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 org.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 org.au names can be found at 2.4.6 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 an org.au domain name?
Eligibility rules determine who can hold a name in a particular namespace.
To be eligible for an org.au name the registrant must have an Australian presence and be a not-for-profit entity.
The following kinds of not-for-profit entity are eligible to hold org.au domain names:
1. an Incorporated Association under State or Territory legislation;
2. a Company limited by guarantee under the Corporations Act 2001(Cth)
3. a Non-distributing co-operative registered under State or Territory legislation;
4. an Indigenous Corporation registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006(Cth) and which appears on the Register of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporations;
5. a Registered Organisation that is:
(a) an association of employers;
(b) an association of employees (union); or
(c) an enterprise association;
registered under the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009(Cth) and which appears on the Register of Organisations;
6. a Charitable trust endorsed by the Australian Taxation Office as a Deductible Gift Recipient;
7. a Non-trading cooperative under State or Territory legislation;
8. a Public or Private Ancillary Fund endorsed by the Australian Taxation Office as a Deductible Gift Recipient;
9. an unincorporated association that appears on the Register of Charities established under the Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission Act 2012(Cth);
10. a Political Party registered under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918(Cth) or State or Territory Electoral Act and which appears on the Register of Political Parties or as otherwise named; or
11. Government, being either the Crown or a Commonwealth, State or Territory statutory agency.
Allocation – what org.au name you can choose
Allocation rules define how a name needs to relate to the registrant.
For org.au the domain name you apply for must be:
a) a match to or synonym of the name of:
(i) a service that the Person provides;
(ii) a program that the Person administers;
(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;
(vi) an occupation that its members practise;
and which that Person is providing at the time of the application; or
b) a match of the Person’s legal name, business or statutory name or the name of the unincorporated association; or
c) a acronym of the Person’s legal name, business name, or statutory name; or
d) a match of the Person’s Australian Trade Mark; or
e) a match to the name of a trust of which the Person is a trustee.
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