Choosing the right domain name for your business is crucial to establishing its identity. Where possible you should register both .com and .com.au domain names and redirect one to the other. Ultimately though, it really comes down to personal preference.
Something to consider is that many Australian consumers may feel more comfortable with an Australian domain if it isn’t already immediately obvious that your business is located in Australia. But as more people become more web savvy this may change.
.com‘s Versus .com.au‘s
It is now also possible to tell search engines the market in which you intend to use the domain, but bear in mind though there are some notable differences between the 2 top level domains:
- .com addresses can be registered year by year or up to 10 years in advance.
- .com.au addresses can be registered for a period of 2 years.
- .com addresses are governed by Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the only requirement is that you provide correct contact information with the registrar.
- .com.au addresses are governed by .au Domain Administration (auDA). You must have at least one of the following; a state business registration number, an ABN or an ACN. The domain name should also be an exact match of your business or a closely related to the functions of your business.
As .com addresses are managed by an American organisation you must conform to American laws which are significantly different to Australian Laws and regulations. For instance, you cannot host unclassified material on Australian domains whereas American laws are much more lax about this.
Registering a Trading name and Trademark
If you intend to register a trading name, and trademark then make sure the domain you want is available. In some cases you might find someone else has registered the domain you want but not doing anything with it. In some instances you can purchase the domain from them (normally at a highly inflated rate).
AuDA also has a complaint process available where someone has registered a domain you have rights to. However, this may be a long drawn out process and if you don’t have the time your best bet is to either use the alternative variation or choose another domain.
If you wish to pro-actively protect your business, domain names, trademarks and trading names give Protect Your Investment (PYI) a call.