Domain names

Q: Do you need a domain name for your business?

A: If you have, or plan to have, a business website, then it’s a good idea to get your own domain!

we're going to look at domain names and what they mean for your business.

What's a domain name?

A domain name is the address to a website on the internet. Similar to your house address, a domain name will tell your customers how to get to your website on the internet. For example, the domain name for our website is 'business.gov.au'.

A domain name generally consists of a name, followed by an ending, such as '.net.au' or '.com.au'. For example, if your name was Peter and you ran a pet store, your domain name might be peterspetstore.com.au.

The first part of the domain name (for example 'peterspetstore') is your business identity and should represent your brand. The ending of the domain name (for example '.com.au') identifies the type of entity you are. In Australia, common domain names end with:

  • .com.au or .net.au - commercial entities or networks (e.g. businesses)

  • .org.au -non-commercial organisations (e.g. charities and non-profit organisations)

  • .asn.au - incorporated associations, political parties, trade unions and clubs etc.

  • .gov.au - government associations (federal, state or local)

  • .edu.au - educational institutions (e.g. schools, universities, technical colleges) .

Your business's domain name can help give your business an online identity or brand.

Do I need a domain name for my business?

If your business has a website, or plans to set one up, then it's a good idea to invest in a domain name.

Even if you are given a free URL to your website, registering your own domain name is a valuable part of your business identity on the web and an important marketing tool that can help customers find and identify with your business.

For example, if you have a business called Alice's Flower Shop, and you set up a website with free tools from an online company, you may be given a website address like freecompany.com/alicesflowershop.

The free company's business identity comes first. It'll be easier for your customers if your website is located at an address that's simple and the same as your business name, such as alicesflowershop.com.au.

How do I pick a domain name for my business?

When picking a domain name, consider a name that:

  • represents your business or brand

  • is easy to remember, pronounce and spell

  • is short and unique

  • does not infringe on another business's trademark.

In your domain name, you can use letters, numbers, and dashes. You can't use spaces.

You will also need to consider the type of domain name you want to register for. For example, if you're an Australian business, you may want to register for a '.com.au' domain to represent your business's Australian identity. However, if you are an international business, you may want to register a '.com' domain without the '.au'.

You can also register for multiple domains to help your customers find you easier and prevent your business brand from being taken by anyone else. For example, if your business name is "Marty's Hair Salon", and you want to have the domain name 'martyshair.com.au', you may also consider registering for 'martyshair.com'.

Domain names must be unique. If the domain name you want is already taken, you'll need to register a different domain name.

How do I register for a domain name?

Domain names can be registered through registrars and resellers.

If you want to register a domain name that ends with .au, visit the.au Domain Administration Ltd (.auDA) website for links to registrars and resellers.

To buy a .com.au or .net.au web address, you must have either an Australian Company Number (ACN) orAustralian Business Number (ABN).

If you don't have a business website ready yet, you can still register your domain name and use it when you're ready.

How much does it cost to register a domain?

The cost of registering a domain depends on:

  • the type of domain you're purchasing (e.g. a domain ending in .com can have different costs to a domain ending in .com.au)

  • the registrar or reseller you are registering it with

  • the period of time you're registering the domain for (typically two years for '.au' domains, and up to 10 years for non-country specific domains such as '.com').

Generally for a year's registration, prices range from $10-100 AUD.

How long does it take to have my domain registered?

This will depend on your provider, but domain registrations are generally instant and shouldn't take long to receive confirmation.

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