.au domain names are available to the public from 20 September 2022. The .au domain names are a distinct, new version from previously available URLs in that they don’t need to include a ‘.com’ or ‘.net’ after the unique part of the URL.
From 24 March 2022, businesses with existing domain names have been given priority to reserve their matching .au equivalents. From 4 October 2022 .au direct domain names on priority hold that didn’t secure an application in the Priority Allocation Process will become available to the general public. .au domain names can be registered that are not subject to the Priority Allocation Process in accordance to .au Licensing Rules.
If you haven’t registered your domain name, it might be time to secure that because anyone can register your business name with an .au domain name. This way you’ll safeguard your businesses brand identify on the internet.
Unregistered businesses may leave their .au domain names unclaimed to be used by impersonators, web name campers or cyber criminals who can use your brand name to impersonate your company.
What are .au domain names?
.au direct domain names are open to anyone with a verified connection to Australia wanting an online presence for themselves or their organisation. They’re available for any general use, meaning that any person, business or organisation can register them if they satisfy the .au Licensing Rules. Click here for the .au Licensing rules
To be eligible for an .au domain, you must have a current Australian presence. This includes:
- an Australian registered company
- an Australian partnership or sole trader
- an owner of an Australian registered trade mark
- an Australian registered charity
- an Australian registered political party
- a trust where the trustee is an Australian citizen
- a foreign company licensed to trade in Australia
- a permanent Australian resident or citizen (not supported at the time of launch)
You can choose any name as long as it’s available to be registered, meets the syntax requirements and does not appear on the Reserved names List.
.au domain names are different, in that they don’t need the .com.au, and .net.au names for commercial entities, the .org.au for a not-for-profit organisation, or edu.au for educational institutions.
How do you register .au direct domain names?
Any .au domain names can be registered through participating auDA accredited registrars. Those registering an .au domain name must provide evidence of their Australian presence which is validated by the auDA accredited registrar.
auDA will set a wholesale price for all .au domain names, which will be the same for com.au, net.au, org.au, asn.au and id.au namespaces. Retail prices may vary so it’s worth a shop around. Here is a list of accredited suppliers: https://www.auda.org.au/accredited-registrars
Existing names are not impacted by the new .au direct domain and will continue to be able to operate provided registrations are up-to-date. It’s not compulsory to purchase a .au domain name however options for Australian’s have expanded when setting up an online presence with its introduction.
Should an .au domain name be registered?
It’s anticipated that .au domain names will be a popular choice for Aussie companies and individuals. It provides a greater choice of trusted and distinct Australian domain names. Will enable shorter, simpler email and domain addresses that are easier to remember and type and will offer a great option for new business ideas, campaigns and one-off events.
Web site tax deductions
Creating an online presence for your business is an expense your business might incur if you wish to have an online presence. Website creation and maintenance costs are tax deductible items, however you’ll need to be aware that the initial development of your website is considered to be a capital expense and might need to be depreciated over a number of years.
Other website costs that will need to be depreciated include changes to your website that improve your ability to make a profit, migrating costs and the cost of securing the rights to use a domain name.
Costs that can be claimed in the same year as they are expensed include periodic domain name registration fees, monthly hosting fees, upgrades to software and updating and improving we content.
Pro Tax Tip: Domain names, registration fees and server hosting expenses can be claimed as tax deductions. Claiming your web site and domain name costs may not be straightforward.
An ITP Tax Accountant will work out what tax deductions can be claimed and how they should be claimed. They’ll also advise if there are any concessions that are available suitable for your circumstances. Call 1800 367 487 and chat with a friendly professional today.