15 July 2019

Today’s blog post explains why an ABN is required when registering a commercial .au domain name. We look at the application process and the verification methods set up by registrars to ensure that the .au namespace remains as secure as possible.

What is an ABN and why would I need one?

As defined by business.gov.au, ‘An Australian Business Number (ABN) is a unique 11 digit number that identifies your business to the government and community.’

If you are operating a business in Australia it is often a requirement to have an ABN for tax and other business purposes. An ABN confirms your business identity, helps avoid situations where payment may be withheld, enables business name registration and - the best part - allows you to register a .com.au (or .net.au) domain name.

How do I get an ABN and how do I include it when registering a commercial .au domain name?

For information on ABN entitlements and to lodge your application, visit abr.gov.au. Here you will also find detailed information about applying and reapplying for an ABN and what happens in the case of a successful/unsuccessful application.

The eligibility requirements for .com.au and/or .net.au domain names are further explained on the Afilias AU website. These include that registrants must be an Australian registered company, an Australian partnership or sole trader or an Australian commercial statutory body. 

When registering a .com.au or .net.au domain name through an .au registrar, you will need to provide your ABN before you are able to complete payment, which will be verificatied by the registrar. For example at VentraIP’s online checkout, the final step before purchasing exampleeg.com.au, is to provide ABN details, as seen in the image below:


Will I still require an ABN after the introduction of second level domain names?

When second level domain name registrations become available in Q4 2019, there will be no ABN requirement for new registrations (such as exampleeg.au). However, as determined in .au Domain Administration’s revised Licensing Rules, every applicant must satisfy an Australian presence requirement to ensure that .au maintains a strong Australian connection. An ABN will still be required for third level commercial domain name registrations, such as exampleeg.com.au or exampleeg.net.au.

If you have a registered ABN and commercial .au domain name, keeping your information up to date is crucial. Like your business, your domain name is a valuable asset and it is important to ensure your registrar is informed of any changes relating to your business’s ABN.

Have some feedback, a question or idea? Email us at blog@afilias.com.au today.