How the new domain registration changes could affect you


Make certain your non-profit is compliant

You might have heard that Australia’s country-code domain names are managed by auDA (.au Domain Administration Ltd). This Australian organisation develops and administers the pointers spherical the registration of all .au domains.

On 12 April 2021, auDA modified its pointers and necessities for .au registrations.



This consists of changes to subdomain necessities that could affect any web site utilizing an internet care for. Such domains are broadly utilized by not-for-profit (NFP), public service and charity organisations in Australia.

Below, we’ll talk about what these changes are and methods you can fulfill the new necessities.

What do the new registration changes seem to be?

As of 12 April 2021, all new domain decide registrations ought to fulfill the necessities of Australian presence and eligibility. On renewal, they need to meet the up to date definition of at least one of the 11 categories of a not-for-profit organisation.


Once registered, an domain decide will not be leased or provided.


The new rule changes are designed to maintain up all .au registrations native to Australia, giving further confidence to web site buddies. This will assist ensure that web websites are Australian-based and bonafide not-for-profit organisations.


Those impacted the most by the new pointers for subdomains, embrace:

  • Non-Australian entities holding domains
  • Unincorporated associations
  • Some not-for-profit (NFP) organisations newly included in the NFP definition
  • NFP entities who should register, renew or change domains

Later on this textual content, we’ll talk about what to do if you are affected by these new rule changes. But first, let’s analysis why these changes are occurring in the first place.

Why the change?

According to the auDA, subdomains are helpful for specifying and figuring out actions or firms, nonetheless might also be matter to misuse or abuse. For this set off, the necessities for registering an subdomain and utterly completely different .au subdomains in Australia have been tightened.

By making the pointers clearer and extra particular, auDA is healthier in a position to regulate breaches. While auDA is eager to supply each registrant the numerous to rectify any elements or complaints, they are going to furthermore droop any domain decide till the matter is sorted out.

Tightening up the pointers and enhancing enforcement measures helps protect .au local and trusted.

As a closing consequence, web site buddies can really actually really feel assured they’re visiting Australian-based organisations. They could even relaxation simple figuring out that web websites symbolize precise NFP organisations.

Because of this elevated notion and readability, NFP organisations utilizing the domain normally are inclined to income from it — considerably in the case of on-line fund-raising actions and credibility.

Conversely, this could have a detrimental affect for any group that not meets the necessities. Their standing could be impaired they typically would possibly want to rework their communications efforts, if not resolved instantly.

How do I do know if the changes apply to me?

You can proceed to licence .au domains if you are a:

  • Business
  • Registered physique
  • Charity with an ABN, ARBN or CAN

The set off for it’s because of you already meet the necessities of Australian presence and eligibility. However, the new auDA rule changes could affect which .au subdomains you are permitted to make the most of. This furthermore consists of the subdomain.

The domain registration pointers are furthermore further extra prone to affect overseas entities who:

  1. Previously licensed for a domain by holding an Australian Trademark
  2. Have no utterly completely different presence in Australia, i.e., should not based or registered in Australia

If you beforehand licensed for an subdomain by holding an Australian Trademark, your trademark and domain decide must now match precisely. Check for factors like articles, punctuation and extra. If they don’t match, the new rule changes will affect you.

If you are an Australian unincorporated affiliation, you normally should not eligible to carry an subdomain until you are on the Australian Charities and NFP Commission’s (ACNC) Register of Charities. All Australian NFPs want to assure they match into one amongst the 11 up to date NFP class definitions to qualify.

What should I do if I’m affected by the domain registration rule changes?

Group of volunteers packing boxes for a non-profit organisation

If you are a overseas entity or an Australian unincorporated affiliation, you’ll want to know your choices for assembly the new necessities. Below, we pointers the steps you ought to take to swimsuit inside the new pointers. We’ll furthermore take a look at NFP organisations and phrase any new changes there.

Foreign entities

If a overseas entity’s trademark and domain decide don’t match precisely, you could want to uncover one completely different methodology to fulfill the Australian presence and eligibility necessities.

One different is to switch your Trademark to an entity that does meet the Australian presence and eligibility necessities. Unless the Trademark matches the domain precisely, a overseas entity is ineligible to carry a .au domain decide after 12 April 2021.

Next steps:

  1. Check you meet the Australia presence and eligibility necessities.
  2. If you have one, research that your Australian Trademark and domain decide are actual matches.
  3. If you have neither #1 nor #2, prepare an Australian entity and alter your Trademark to it ahead of 12 April 2021.
  4. Register your .au domain by the use of your Australian entity in case your trademark doesn’t match or you don’t have a trademark.
  5. For domains, guarantee your entity meets the definition of one amongst the 11 classes of NFP organisations.

Make certain you think about all choices and double-check the necessities to have a look at your eligibility.

Australian unincorporated associations

If you are an Australian unincorporated affiliation, you must qualify for an domain. Check that you meet the definition of one amongst the up to date 11 categories of NFPs to bolster your potentialities.

If you don’t meet one amongst these definitions, you can attempt registering for the comparable decide beneath an subdomain. In this context, ‘asn’ is non permanent for affiliation. The sooner you motion this, the bigger you can uncover the most fascinating on the market domain decide to re-register with.

Let’s assume you already meet the new Australian presence and eligibility necessities. In this case, your present registration will proceed till it expires. Until your present registration expires, the pointers ahead of the April 2021 changes nonetheless apply. Upon renewal, the new licencing pointers come into affect.

Next steps:

  1. Determine whether or not or not or not your affiliation meets one amongst the 11 NFP class definitions.
  2.  If optimistic, you can renew as an
  3. If no, you can research quite a few domain extensions equal to — study your choices correct proper right here.
  4. If having an domain is necessary in your organisation, you might need to think about altering the growth. For occasion, you can incorporate your affiliation to meet the up to date NFP definitions.

Make certain you assess the non permanent and long-term efforts and implications of every different, based in your sources and capabilities. The administration, public notion and prices can fluctuate relying on what you select.

Not-for-profit organisations

If you have already got an Australian presence, eligibility and match into one amongst the 11 classes of eligible NFP organisations, you don’t ought to achieve this a lot furthermore proceed to resume your domain decide.

Note that 4 new sorts of organisations are actually in a position to register for domains, together with:

  • Indigenous firms
  • Cooperatives
  • Registered state and territory political events
  • Government statutory firms

If you are eligible for domains, the doable names you can register in your domain are broadening beneath the new pointers.

Related: 10 concepts for selecting the great domain decide

Some fast reminders about domains

There is not any idea of possession in the Domain Name System. Domain names are licenced for outlined intervals of time and beneath agreed phrases and circumstances. In Australia, most domain names with the .au extension are matter to the Domain Name Eligibility and Allocation Policy Rules.

Yellow sticky notes on desk with keyboard and earphones nearby

Note that closed extensions equal to and have outlined communities of curiosity and should not on the market to the common public.

Key definitions for reference

If you need a fast refresher on domain terminology, take a look at with the pointers beneath to assist make clear any questions you might have.

  • Top Level Domain (TLD): These describe the closing a part of an internet web site care for, sometimes typically referred to as the domain extension. Website endings like .com, .web, and .org are all examples of TLDs.
  • Country Code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs): These are designated two letter codes assigned by the Internet Assigned Number Authority (IANA) to worldwide areas, territories and sovereign states. The Australian ccTLD is .au and is overseen by auDA.
  • Second diploma domains (2LDs): This describes the a part of the web site decide subsequent to the TLD or web site extension. For event, inside or, the ‘org’ and ‘web’ parts of the internet extensions are the second diploma domain. They are normally described as the subdomains of the two-letter .au ccTLD assigned to Australia.
  • Third diploma domains (3LDSs): All domains registered in Australia with the .au extension are third diploma domains, due to they are going to have not decrease than three parts to their domain decide equal to or

Memorizing these phrases will give you a leg-up when navigating the totally utterly completely different pointers and eligibility requirements for domain registration.

The distinction between and utterly completely different .au subdomains is one amongst many second diploma domains equal to,, Each 2LD has a function which determines who’s eligible for the 2LD and what the pointers are for that 2LD.

Different .au subdomains have totally utterly completely different eligibility and allocation pointers.


Examples embrace the subdomain, used for enterprise entities, or the subdomain allotted to people.

Going ahead, registering an subdomain will solely be doable by Australian NFP organisations who meet one amongst the 11 NFP class definitions.

Final takeaways to assist you navigate the new domain updates

If you are a overseas entity that licences an domain, you might want to research if you are eligible to proceed to carry an licence after April 2021. If you are in any doubt, you’ll ought to take pressing steps to analysis and substitute your eligibility.

Australian unincorporated associations with domains have till the finish of your present licence expiration date. After this, you can resolve what motion you should take.

If you not meet the necessities, you have the possibility to every incorporate or transition to a singular subdomain the place you meet the necessities.

Many Australian NFP organisations gained’t be affected by these rule changes, so long as you meet the up to date outlined classes. If you do, you’ll even have a broader set of selections for names that you can register as related collectively collectively along with your NFP organisation.