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Is it important for an Australian business to own an .au domain?

By James Lake
Is it important for an Australian business to own an .au domain?

While the way we do business on the web is constantly changing, the basic principles remain the same - having a name people can trust and identify with quickly.

Your domain name is its space on the Internet, and part of identifying that space is its domain extension. The domain name, and the domain extension you choose, should never be taken lightly. We’ve all seen domain extensions ending in .com and .com.au, but what’s the difference and does it really matter? 

The short answer is absolutely and here’s why:

.com Domain Extensions

The .com domain extension is the most commonly used extension on the Internet, and when you look at the criteria it’s easy to see why that’s the case. Anyone or any organisation anywhere in the world can register a .com domain for any reason as long as it’s available. While this makes registering a domain name something very accessible to everyone, it doesn’t necessarily tell people a whole lot about whom the domain belongs to.

.com.au Domain Extensions

By comparison, .com.au is considered the Australian space on the Internet. All .au domain names are governed by the AUDA (Australian domain administration), who set in place criteria for registering this type of domain name. According to AUDA, anyone applying for a .com.au domain name require a registered ABN, ACN or ARBN. Furthermore, registered name must be closely matched to the organisation’s title, or closely matched to the organisations activities. These requirements indicate the exclusivity of a .au domain to all groups and users on the internet. 

What does that mean for your business?

Simply, when you own a .com.au, you’re flying the Aussie flag.  Anyone visiting your website knows that you’re an Australian business or organisation and therefore subject to Australian consumer laws.  It also validates and authenticates who you are and what you do through your domain name, which is vital knowledge for all consumers.

So before people even visit your website they can know from your ads, marketing material or business card the content in your name.