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Domain Eligibility: Can I Really Make it Mine?

In recent weeks we’ve looked into the details surrounding the availability and selection of domain names. However, in some instances, business owners and domainers may find themselves in a position where, despite a domain being available, they are ineligible to use it. On this point, it’s also important to distinguish that purchasing a domain name does not transfer the asset itself. Instead, an individual effectively ‘leases’ the rights to use the name for a certain period.

How then, can individuals establish if they are eligible to use a particular name? Well, this has been established by the .au Domain Administration (auDA), the “policy authority and industry self-regulatory body for the .au domain space”. To avoid the potential prospects of having your purchase revoked, you should pay particular attention to auDA’s guidelines, which we’ll now detail below. and

As the demand for Australian domain names continues to grow, the eligibility for popular TLDs such as and are the most accessible – both providing coverage for commercial activity. For either TLD, registrants are required to be any of the following:

– an Australian registered company; or

– trading under a registered business name in any Australian State or Territory; or

– an Australian partnership or sole trader; or

– a foreign company licensed to trade in Australia; or

– an owner of an Australian Registered Trade Mark; or

– an applicant for an Australian Registered Trade Mark; or

– an association incorporated in any Australian State or Territory; or

– an Australian commercial statutory body.

Furthermore, the domain should correlate with the owner’s name or trademark, or alternatively, be connected “closely and substantially” to them. There is however, an exception for the purpose of “domain monetisation”, which allows domainers to purchase sites where the page’s content reflects its name, providing it doesn’t take advantage of a name for an existing business, brand or person.


  Other Domains

When it comes to other Australian TLDs, usage is generally restricted to certain groups and for particular purposes. Immediately recognisable, domains are limited to government bodies. Meanwhile, the and domains are reserved for non-commercial purposes, and are open to: political parties, associations, unions, clubs, charities, non-profit organizations and so forth – provided again, that they align, or are closely connected, with the registrant.

Similarly, domains prohibit commercial activity, but are instead eligible among Australian citizens or residents (individuals only). In this instance, the domain must be aligned with the owner’s personal name, or closely connected to them. This ‘connection’ includes reference to any personal interest or hobby of theirs, provided it does not incorporate the existing name of a business, brand or individual. For further details on these TLDs, refer to the .au Domain Authority’s full guidelines.

That’s it for this occasion, stay tuned for our next article, where we’ll cover the restrictions on second level domain names (2LDs).

Best wishes,
The Netfleet Team

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