As most local Australian businesses, you probably have a domain name. In some cases, you might have purchased a, or if you are an organisation, it would be a

Australians love to abbreviate words. Here are some you probably heard many times in the past:

  • Arvo (afternoon)
  • Straya (Australia)
  • Footy (football)
  • Macca’s (McDonalds)
  • … the list goes on

Important announcement!

The latest abbreviation and probably one of the biggest is ⇒ .au. These direct registrations to domain names are not a new thing, but they are very new to Australia. They are also called second level domain names or top level domains (as opposed to third level domain names as they are now).

There are many questions and we’ll try and answer some of them below.

doman names australia

When will this happen?

This is what the AUDA say (keeping in mind the initial date was set for November 2019)

… the launch of direct registration and changes to licensing rules are now likely to occur in the first half of 2020.

How much will it cost to buy a .au domain name in Sydney?

Prices will be determined by each domain name Registrar, but as you might have noticed, these seem to vary A LOT. Some registars provide high discounts for the first year, only to lock you in for the next year with high fees. Others sell it at a high price, promising things that should be included by default. Do your homework, read the small print, shop around.

Here are some more Q&As from legends at

Q: What is “direct registration” – and how does it affect you or any other small business?

A: It is the ability to register an Australian domain name at the “second level” instead of the current “third level” e.g. or is “third level”; is “second level” or “direct registration”. There are many who would welcome this; and equally, many who wouldn’t.

Q: If you currently use a domain name e.g., are you guaranteed of getting

A: No. auDA has an allocation process, and there may be other eligible candidates (including Government departments!). (See real life example on their site).

Q: Could a competitor of mine end up with

A: Yes, it is possible. (See real life example on their site).

Q: If I / we choose to be part of the allocation process, is it going to cost me / us money?

A: Yes. Unlike their counterparts in NZ and the UK,  auDA intends charging a fee to anyone eligible to apply for allocation; and this fee could be ongoing year after year until someone “wins”.

Q: Who gets that money?

A: The supply side of the domain name business – auDA, Afilias (the registry operator), and registrars.

Q: Should I / we be successful in acquiring, and decide to keep as well, do I / we have to pay two registration fees every year?

A: Yes. If you don’t pay both, then one of the domain names will expire, and theoretically anybody (including your competition) can pick it up.

Q: How come I / we haven’t been told directly about this proposed process (and all the small print) by auDA or our registrar? They have my / our email address.

A: Now that’s a really good question! A few of us have been agitating for ages for that to happen.

In Summary

There are of course many other factors to consider, even if you do get your own .au domain with the name you want. Is it worth the investment? Will it rank well for SEO? Will it really take off and become as popular if not more popular than the current

In all honesty, we hope it will. Simplfying things is something we were always up for, even if some say why simplify for the sake of simplifying.

But the fact is – there is the .US, .NZ, .RU and many other second level domains in the world. In fact, one thing that kept nagging us since as far back as 1999 – why wasn’t it a simple .au to begin with?

Keep your eye on the domain names market and visit our blog from time to time.

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and (deep breath) not to miss out on the latest news!

As you can tell from our Social Media handle, we are on top of the game when it comes to keeping our name! 😎