08 April 2021
Map of Australia

Today’s blog post discusses the upcoming .au licensing rule changes that will come into effect at 10am on Monday 12 April 2021. 

 .com.au and .net.au eligibility and allocation changes

The first change we want to discuss relates to .com.au and .net.au domain name eligibility and allocation. More specifically, and as stated on the auDA website, we want to focus on the new requirements for “how registrants meet the Australian presence test for a com.au and net.au licence.”

Let’s say you run a business based in another country that sells home decorations to customers in Australia. To ensure that you would be eligible to register homedecorau.com.au you registered an Australian trademark for “Home Decor AU”. 

In the above example, you would not be affected by the upcoming rule changes because although you are a foreign entity, the registered trademark that you use to meet the Australian presence requirement exactly matches your domain name.

However, if your trademark was “Home Decor Australia”, you would need to adjust the information relating to how you meet the Australian presence requirement by applying different criteria via your registrar.

.org.au eligibility changes

The second change we want to highlight relates to .org.au domain name eligibility. The major change in this space will be in defining a not-for-profit organisation and ensuring that this definition is met. On their website, auDA explains that “to be eligible for a .org.au domain name you need to be a not-for-profit entity”, that fits within 1 of 11 categories.

Let’s say you have started a small foundation that dedicates time to animal research activities and you have registered the domain name animalresearch.org.au. You are not a registered association of any kind, simply a group of passionate people who set up a website to provide dedicated information in this area.

In this example, you will be affected by the upcoming rule changes as the foundation does not meet the definition of a not-for-profit entity of any category. The best option in this case would be to apply to meet one of the categories listed through the appropriate body (e.g. by becoming an incorporated association in your state or territory). Another option would be to forgo your .org.au license and register your .au domain name in a namespace where you do meet the eligibility requirements

Strengthening and maintaining trust in .au

In meeting policy and operational standards for the .au Domain Name System (DNS), both auDA and Afilias Australia are committed to playing a vital role in maintaining trust and credibility as businesses continue to move online. Afilias Australia commends auDA on their ability to enforce these requirements, and ultimately strengthen trust in .au for the wider Australian internet community.

For more information on how these changes may affect you, contact your .au registrar today.