upcoming changes for .au domains

Starting April 12, 2021, new requirements for .au domain names will take effect. Existing .au domains that don’t comply with the new requirements will become ineligible for renewal. New .au domains will also need to meet the below stated eligibility requirements.

Upcoming Changes for .AU Domains

The .au registry currently allows the use of wording similar to the ones used on the Australian Trade Mark application. This is known as the “closely and substantially connected rule.” As of April 12, 2021, this rule is being replaced. Domain names registered and renewed after April 12th must be an exact match of the words used on the Australian Trade Mark application or registration.

The domain name must include all the words in the order in which they appear in the Australian Trade Mark, 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’; and dashes or ampersands.

To remain eligible for a domain name, registrants should ensure they meet the new .au domain requirements.

If you are not sure, this information is available on the whois record of your domain under the “Eligibility Type”. You may search for your domain name here.

Changes for .COM.AU and .NET.AU Domain Owners

Current foreign companies, legal entities, or persons who use an Australian Trade Mark to meet the COM.AU or NET.AU registration requirement, where their domain is not an exact match of their Australian Trade Mark, will be impacted by this change.

.au domains

If you are affected by this update, here’s what you can do:

  • Register a trademark for the exact match of words within their current domain name; or
  • Consider changing the eligibility type to satisfy the COM.AU or NET.AU registration requirement. Please note that if it involves changing the legal entity the domain is registered to, the name will need to be transferred to that new entity.

Changes for .ORG.AU Domain Owners

According to the new licensing rules, the definition of a not-for-profit entity has been updated. It no longer includes unincorporated associations that are not registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission.

Unincorporated associations are no longer eligible in this TLD unless registered in the Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission’s (ACNC) Register of Charities.

If you are affected by this update, here’s what you can do:

  • Check if you meet another category for non for profit; or
  • Change the organization’s legal structure

For more information about upcoming changes for .au domains, please visit the auDA website.