Think of your business domain name as the physical location of your store. If customers cannot find their way to your store, you will not generate any revenue. Similarly, if your business is in a sketchy part of town, people won’t feel confident in availing of your offerings.

The domain name that you choose for your business website represents its digital identity. It not only helps clients locate your business but also establishes trust in your brand. Thus, it’s crucial to choose a domain name that’s both accessible and credible.

There are common concerns around domain naming that arise at the time of registration. One is whether you stick to the current .au family or go for the .au direct. Let’s address this concern.

What is .au?

au Direct_ (1)

The internet is divided into several domain names and domain extensions, with the country code top-level domain (ccTLD) explicitly reserved for countries or sovereign states. In this context, the .au corresponds to the ccTLD of Australia and was first created in 1986.

The registration and domain name policy for .au is managed and monitored by a not-for-profit organisation and industry self-regulatory body, .au Domain Administration (auDA). And recently, they announced the launching of .au direct domains on 24 March 2022.

It will not affect the existing .au domains. Instead, it will give organizations and individuals a new way to expand their brand online.

READ: .au Domains Are Coming Soon: What Does This Mean for You? 

Current .au Family vs .au Direct Domain

Aussie Alternatives to .au Domain

The current .au namespaces only allow specific entities to register.

Although the .au domain is reserved for Australia, there was a need for a more granular domain allocation to indicate the purpose of websites clearly. As a result, second-level domains (2LDs) were created for all Australian states and territories.

The open (accessible to the public) 2LDs include:

  • for associations, political parties, trade unions, and special interest clubs
  • for commercial bodies
  • for Australian citizens and residents
  • for charities and non-profit bodies

Domains such as or are closed to the general public and are only available to educational and governmental bodies, respectively. The current .au domain spaces only allow specific entities to register.

Meanwhile, .au direct names will be available for anybody to use. This means that any person or organisation can register them, as long as they adhere to the auDA Rules: Licensing.

To be eligible for a .au direct name, you must meet the Australian Presence requirement. The requirement includes being an Australian citizen or a permanent resident, or having a company registered in Australia.

You can register your .au direct domain provided it:

  • meets the syntax requirements,
  • is available to be registered, and
  • does not appear on the Reserved Names list.

Also, the .au direct domain will give registrants the chance to have a shorter and more memorable .au domain name.

Claim Your .au Domain Today

If you’re an Australian business launching a website and want to target local customers, then .au is an excellent choice for your website. Registering a .au domain will not only increase the level of trust for Australian customers, but also land you a top spot for “near me” searches.

While waiting for the direct .au launch, you can register a domain under the .au family here. Eligibility rules apply.