Domain Name Policy for

The domain exists to enable eligible commercial entities in Australia to have an Internet address (domain name) that is closely aligned with their commercial name.

The domain is a listing service. It provides a distinct 1:1 correlation between a domain name and an applicant's registered commercial name. The domain is a policy-driven domain. Some names, such as place names or names of goods or services, will not be licensed for use as domain names.

This document is the current policy for administering the domain, and contains the rules for the administration of the domain, and in particular those that determine the acceptance or rejection of a domain name application.

1. Types of Eligible Commercial Entities

Only commercial entities registered and trading in Australia will be allocated a domain name. Applicants registering company and business names to obtain particular domain names should be aware of:

  • Existing State and federal legislation that governs the registration of company and business names,
  • The requirements of this policy for an actual trading entity, and
  • Section 4.3 Revoking a domain name licence.

The following table lists types of eligible commercial entities. To register a domain name for a type of entity not listed in the table, you will need to demonstrate:

That you have the rights to the commercial name, or
That the commercial entity is registered with a recognized Government or industry authority.
Type of Eligible Entity Identified by Authority
Trading Name and Legal Names ABN Australian Business Registry
Companies (including foreign companies registered to trade in Australia) ACN (or ARBN for foreign companies) Australian Securities and Investment Commission
Registered Business Names Registered Business Number State Government Registries
Incorporated Associations Association Number State Government Registries
Commercial Statutory Bodies Act of Parliament Federal or State Parliament
Financial Institutions Financial Institution Code Relevant Regulatory Authority
Registered Superannuation Funds Fund Number Relevant Regulatory Authority

An eligible entity may be identifiable in one or more categories

2. Allocation Rules

These rules govern the licensing of domain names. As these rules are applied, domain name applications that do not meet the requirements here will be declined.

2.1 Complete and Correct Details

Complete and correct details must be provided with each and every application. Agents (for example, Internet Service Providers) who apply for domain names on behalf of their clients must not place themselves as the administrative contact.

2.2 Single Domain Name per Commercial Entity

Only one domain name is licensed per eligible commercial entity. Organizations with more than one eligible commercial entity (for example, a company with several registered trading names) can apply for one domain name for each registered trading name.

2.3 Composition of a Domain Name

A domain name must:

  • TBe at least two characters long
  • TContain only letters (a-z), numbers (0-9)and hyphens or a combination of these
  • TStart and end with an alphanumeric character, not a hyphen.

2.4 Uniqueness and Similarity

No two domain names can be exactly the same (e.g. there can be only one No test is made to ensure:

  • That the same or a similar domain name already exists in another domain (e.g., .com)
  • That the domain name is not too similar to an existing registered (or other domain) domain name, such as
  • the plural or singular form of a word or phrase.

2.5 Allocation of Domain Names domain names are licensed to applicants on a 'first-come, first-served' basis. There is no provision for queuing of applications. If a domain name is already licensed, or if an application is pending for that name, no further applications will be accepted for that name until the name is either revoked or the pending application declined.

If an application is declined (or a domain name removed), the pending entry is removed from the AUNIC registry and the domain name is immediately available.

2.6 Direct Derivation

Applicants can use the complete name of their eligible commercial entity, or an abbreviation. When an abbreviation is requested:

  • The domain name can only be derived from the characters contained in the commercial entity name,
  • Characters can be removed from the commercial entity name to create the domain name, but the sequence of the characters cannot be altered, and
  • New characters (that do not appear in the commercial entity name) cannot be introduced to the domain name.

2.7 Australian Place Names

Australian place names and their common abbreviations are overly representative (i.e. representing all commerce for a particular community or in a geographic region) and will not be licensed for use as domain names. Some examples are in the table below.

Place Example Names Common abbreviation
This country Australia au, aus, oz
States and Territories Queensland, Victoria qld, vic, act, nsw
Regions Gippsland
Local Government Areas Stonnington
Suburbs Paddington

2.8 Generic Words

Words that represent commercial categories or sectors are overly representative and will not be licensed for use as domain names. Some examples are in the table below.

Commercial Category Description Examples
Products, services and professions Any generic word that is defined and used to represent products, services or professions. Typically, these are words that appear in an Australian word list (e.g. The Macquarie Dictionary) and also in a commercial category listing (e.g. The Yellow Pages Index®). cars, accounting, solicitor, weddings, manager, hifi, winery
Industries, industry sectors and organisation types Any word that represents an industry, industry sector or organisation type. mining, finance, company, bank
N.B. multiple-word phrases such as 'pressrelease' or 'wedding-car-hire' are allowed.

2.9 Offensive or Obscene Domain Names

It has been the policy of NJStar / Melbourne IT to reject domain names, which by themselves or as part of a name or word, by normally accepted standards are unacceptable because they are obscene, offensive or contrary to public policy. Until such time as a new regulatory body of the .au domain space has been able to determine policy in this area, NJStar / Melbourne IT intends to continue to adopt a conservative policy with regard to registration of such names.

3. Licence Rules

3.1 Licence Period and Renewal

The initial licence period for a domain name is two years. The licence to use the domain name can be renewed at the end of each licence period, subject to current terms and conditions. The administrator will attempt to contact licensees (or their agents) when the domain name licence requires renewal, but licensees are responsible to ensure renewal

3.2 Domain Name Licence Transfer

The licence to use the domain name cannot be transferred or sold to another party.

3.3 Revoking a domain name licence

The licence to use the domain name can be terminated for reasons outlined in the table below.

Reason Description
Fee not paid Where the prescribed fee is not paid within the required time
Breach of warranty Where the warranty supplied by the applicant or their agent is breached
Incorrect info Where misleading, incomplete or incorrect information is supplied in the application
Court decision Where a court of competent authority determines that the domain name should not be licensed to the current licensee, be removed from the registry, or be licensed to another party
Name Change Where the commercial name used by the licensee to obtain the domain name is changed, or if the licence to use the registered commercial name ceases.
Instruction Where instructed by the current licensee of the domain name
Error Where a domain name which could not otherwise be registered under this policy is registered through mistake, oversight or otherwise (within thirty days of registering the domain name):
    The administrator may send notice (of not less than thirty days) stating the intention to cancel the registration, and stating the reasons for the proposed cancellation

    The administrator may remit the fee payable for the new domain name in place of the cancelled domain ame

4. Dispute Resolution

Disputes over domain names are resolved via the procedure outlined below. This procedure applies to both declined domain name applications, and disputes over already-licensed domain names.

Stage Description
Notice The originator of the dispute sends notice of the dispute in writing to the administrator
Negotiation and conciliation The originator, the administrator and any third parties must attempt to settle the dispute by negotiations and conciliation.
Arbitration If the above attempts fail to settle the dispute, the parties agree to refer the dispute to a commercial disputes centre. All parties must agree to be bound by the ruling of the arbiter. The costs of the dispute are borne by the originator.

5. Acknowledgment and Warranties

For the administration of the domain, reliance is placed upon the information and warranties supplied by applicants or their agents. By applying for a domain name, applicants:

  1. Warrant that the information provided in the application is complete, true and correct.
  2. Warrant that the registration and/or use of the domain name does not breach any third party's rights (such as those of a registered trademark holder).
  3. Warrant that they have read and understood this policy and proceed on the basis that this policy is legally binding.
  4. Indemnify the administrator to the full extent legally permitted against all claims and demands from third parties regarding registration and use of the domain name.