Your online identity

When you get your Internet connection established you will be allocated one or more email addresses. This will normally be in the format of yourname@yourdomainname.com. Detailed below is a description of how a domain name is made up.

What is a domain name?

Your Domain Name is like any trade name, logo, or brand name, your domain name represents a part of your business identity - something customers and business contacts can recognise, remember, and associate with your services or products. A well chosen name can also make a big difference to your rankings on the search engines. Registering your domain name will at the very least prevent someone else from using it. More important, however, is that with your own domain you have the opportunity to reach an audience world wide.

A domain name also represents your "address" on the Internet. It is a phrase containing several components separated by a full stop ("dot"). The domain name is linked directly to a set of numbers that consist of two pieces of information:

  • An IP address, such as 123.123.123.123
  • A domain name in the Domain Name Service (DNS)

An IP address is similar to the co-ordinates on a map whilst the domain name is similar to a street address. Most people would find it much easier therefore to remember a street address (domain name) than to try and remember the co-ordinates (IP Address). These names and numbers are stored on several large server operations in the US and elsewhere in the world in the same fashion phone numbers are. Unlike a phone number you have the opportunity to register the name you desire.

What Domain Name Can I Register?

In the past, people were discouraged from registering more than one domain name. Now, however, domain authorities have bowed to the demands of Internet users and are willing to register as many domain names as you require. Indeed it is quite common place for people to register several different variants of a domain name e.g. number.co.uk/numbers.co.uk/thenumber.co.uk. Some people register many different domain names in the hope that some will be saleable - basically it is up to the individual to decide how many names to purchase.

The domains that are most appropriate for small/medium businesses are .com,.com.au and .net.au

What do I Need to Register an Australian Domain Name (.com.au)

To be eligible for a .com.au or .net.au domain name, you must be:

  • 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 trademark; 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.

Domain names have to be an exact match, abbreviation or acronym of your businesses commercial name or trade mark, or "closely or substantially connected" to the registrant because the domain name refers to

  • a product that you manufacture or sell;
  • a service that you provide;
  • an event that you sponsor;
  • an activity that you facilitate, teach or train;
  • a venue that you operate; or
  • a profession that your employees practice.

Obscene and offensive words and words considered "contrary to public policy" cannot be used in a licensed domain name. The administering body has the discretion to decide which names fall into those categories.

When you register a domain name, check to see whether the name has been registered elsewhere. In other words if you are registering Mycompany.com.au maybe someone has registered Mycompany.com already. You can check to see who owns a domain name if it is already taken by looking up what we call a ‘whois’ search.

Another business may object to the name you choose. Your domain name may breach the trade mark rights of a a third party where the complaining party has registered their name as a trademark or it may constitute misleading and deceptive conduct under trade practices legislation. See fact sheets on Trade Marks, Domain Names and Passing Off and Domain Names.

Subject to the requirements set out above, .com.au and .net.au domain names are licensed on a "first-come, first-served" basis. Where a domain name is already licensed or there is an application pending for that name, no further application is accepted for that name until the existing licence is revoked or the pending application is refused.

Domain names in the .com.au and .net.au spaces are licensed for a set period of two years, on expiration of which the licence may be renewed.

Where can I register an Domain Name?

There are literally hundreds of domain name registration companies, some charging a lot more than others. Due to the number of domain names we manage for our merchants, we are not only able to offer very competitive rates, we can also take care of the entire process for you.

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