Changes to eligibility rules for .au domains


When registering an “.au” domain name you are required to prove that you have an Australian presence. One way of doing this is to be the owner of an Australian Trade Mark application or registration.

If you are a foreign entity, currently it is acceptable to register an “.au” domain if you are the owner of an Australian Trade Mark that is closely and substantially connected to the domain for which you are applying to register. However, on 12 April 2021, the auDA will be changing the eligibility requirements for foreign entities and from this date it will be a requirement that the domain name be an exact match to the Trade Mark on which it is based.

An exact match is defined as:

“… that the domain name being applied for is identical to the words which are the subject of an Australian Trade Mark. The domain name must include all the words in the order in which they appear in the Australian Trade Mark, excluding:

  • DNS identifiers such as;
  • punctuation marks such as an exclamation point or an apostrophe;
  • articles such as ‘a’, ‘the’, ‘and ’or ‘of’; and
  • ampersands.”

By way of example, once the change comes into effect, if you are a foreign entity and you own a Trade Mark for “Oscar & Co”, you would be able to register domains such as:; or

However, you would not be able to register a domain such as:

Please note that this change primarily only applies to foreign entities that are relying on an existing Trade Mark to establish an Australian presence. The rules for Australian organisations are more relaxed.

If you are a foreign entity, and you own an existing domain name registration which uses an Australian Trade Mark as the basis for meeting the Australian presence requirement which is not an exact match, you will be required to change the basis.

It is also important that this is done prior to your renewal date. In the event that you are unable to meet the new eligibility requirement by the renewal date for your domain, the domain registration will expire.

If you are concerned that your “.au” domain name registration may no longer meet the new eligibility requirements, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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