If your business doesn’t already own the .au direct domain for your website, you should act quickly to secure it before 20 September 2022.

Currently, all .au direct domains with an existing and exact matching .au such as .com.au, .net.au, .org.au, etc. are on ‘priority hold’. This means if your business owns a .au domain [such as businessdepot.com.au], you have priority to purchase the .au direct variant [in our case, businessdepot.au, without the .com bit].

But be quick – if you haven’t purchased your .au direct domain before the priority period finishes on 20 September, you may find that someone else swoops in to grab it.

If you’re wondering, “why would someone want my domain? It’s just the name of my business, it has no value to someone else.” Well, here’s why it’s really important you jump on this right away…



You may not want to use the direct domain now, but you may in the future. Unfortunately, by not securing your domain now, you risk someone buying your direct domain variant with the intent to sell it back to you [or someone else] at a higher price.

Prices may vary slightly depending on your domain registrar but generally, you will find registering a domain fairly affordable and you just renew on a yearly basis [for instance, it only cost about $10 to register businessdepot.au].

In contrast, when buying a domain from someone else, the purchase price could be anything. Some domains have sold for millions of dollars! It‘s possible your desired domain may trade in the hundreds or thousands. While that’s not a million, it’s still a lot more than you would have spent if you’d registered for the .au now!



Even if you’re confident you’ll never use the direct domain, and not worried about someone trying to flip it for a profit – you still need to watch out for cybersquatting.

“What is cybersquatting?” It’s when someone buys the domain variation to take advantage of the similarity to your active domain.

At the most basic level, a competitor may buy your direct domain variant and redirect it to their website, capturing any visitors that forget to include .com in the url! And if their search engine optimisation is good enough, they may also be able to challenge you on Google search results, stealing traffic that should be going to your website!

If you believe the use of a domain infringes on your trademark, you can contest it, but that’s a legal headache you’d probably rather avoid for the few bucks it costs to set up the domain now!

Generic domains can be more problematic, because they’re unlikely to be protected by your trademark. For example, imagine I owned a business called Kirsty’s Van Renos which used the domain ‘vanrenos.com.au’. If someone else registers ‘vanrenos.au’, there’s nothing I’ll be able to do to prevent them from using it [and they may be able to legally start trading under that domain, if they meet the eligibility requirements]! And if they start outranking me on Google [or even just ranking up there with me], that’s big trouble… I am likely to lose out on a lot of visitors to my website!


Now, it’s obviously not ideal if a competitor uses the domain to steal customers, but there are also some significantly more sinister things you should be worrying about…

  • Someone may set up a fake website to scam your visitors!
  • What’s worse – they could also set up emails as well.

Just imagine the issues that could arise if one of your clients receives an invoice from ‘accounts@yourbusiness.au’, mistaking it as an invoice from your actual accounts email ‘accounts@yourbusiness.com.au’.

If you believe someone is misusing a domain that infringes on your trademark, you can act on it, however, that’s a whole legal headache you can simply avoid by grabbing the .au direct domain now.


We’re here to help!

For full details on how to register, check out our blog on .au direct domains. And as a final reminder – don’t forget to register your domains before the priority period ends on 20 September!

If you do need legal advice on trademark infringement, you can reach out to our legal team at legal@businessdepot.com.au.

If you have any more questions about the new .au direct domains or would like help reaching your website, brand or marketing potential, get in touch with our marketing team at marketing@businessdepot.com.au.


general advice disclaimer

The information provided on this website is a brief overview and does not constitute any type of advice. We endeavour to ensure that the information provided is accurate however information may become outdated as legislation, policies, regulations and other considerations constantly change. Individuals must not rely on this information to make a financial, investment or legal decision. Please consult with an appropriate professional before making any decision.