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As of the 24th of March 2022, you can begin registering the new .au domain names using inputhost. These are shorter, simpler versions of the current .com.au or .net.au domain names. If you are the current holder of another .au domain, such as .com.au, .id.au, or other equivalents, you will be able to apply for priority status in securing a new .au domain.

So, what are the benefits of these domains, and how do you apply?

What are the benefits of a .au domain?
A .au domain name will operate in the same manner as existing domain names. The main benefit of them is that they are a shorter domain name. Shorter domain names are much easier to read and remember. They tend to be far catchier and stick in someone’s head, which is perfect for when potential customers are trying to find your website online. Memorability is a powerful tool for businesses when trying to raise brand awareness.

Another benefit is that a shorter domain will be far easier to fit onto any printed materials for your business. Business cards and brochures often have limited space. So, a shortened domain name will be more likely to fit.

How to apply
If you are looking to apply for a .au domain but don’t own the .com.au, .net.au, or equivalent domain, then you may be out of luck for a few months. Currently, the owners of these domains have priority status to secure their new .au domain. Applications to receive priority status have now opened and run until 20th September 2022.

How to apply for priority status
Priority status can be applied through inputhost. You will be required to pay a registration fee. In order to register you will also need to ensure you meet all eligibility criteria and have a priority token (obtained during the domain registration process).

When applying for priority status, most domain owners will be able to receive their .au domain very soon after registration. However, some domain registrations may be contested. This happens when there are two holders of the same name, but with a different domain extension. For example where person A owns “name.com.au” and person B owns “name.net.au”. This is known as a contested name and has a different process.

What happens if the name is contested?
Some cases may have multiple registrants eligible for priority status on .au domain names. When this happens it is referred to as a contested name and has its own process. So following this example:

Person A has name.com.au Person B has name.net.au Person C has name.org.au Each of them registered their name before the launch of the .au direct domain.

So, each is eligible to apply for priority status for their domain. In cases like these, the .au domain will be provided for a one-year licence term according to the Priority application process and the applicant’s priority category.

Priority categories
Priority is divided into 2 categories based on the date the domain name was created. The priority categories are as follows:

Priority category 1: domain names created before 4 February 2018
Priority category 2: domain names created after 4 February 2018

So, if you registered your domain before the 4th of February 2018, you would have the highest priority. However, it is still possible for multiple applicants to be in priority category 1. In this case, negotiation between applicants will be required to take place. The .au domain will then be provided to the remaining active application.

What if I am unsuccessful?
If you were unsuccessful at getting a .au direct domain, that is ok. You will be able to continue using your current domain as you were before provided you keep your registration up to date. It may be possible in the future to negotiate with the owner of the .au direct domain or purchase it if it goes up for sale.

Register your .au domain (eg. yourbusiness.au)
Click here to register your .au domain name with inputhost.