It’s going to get a bit more difficult to buy a .AU domain name this year

.AU domain names

While I’ve always been focused on .COM when it comes to domain investing, it’s hard to ignore the fact that there are ccTLDs all over the world that are changing hands all the time. I think it’s safe to say that .DE takes the cake when it comes to sales price and volume, but other extensions like .nl, .au and many others still do well for investors.

I think it’s safe to say that every time I go to a domain conference I meet at least one person from somewhere else in the world who is investing in a ccTLD that never crossed my mind. As we get deeper into conversation I’m always totally amazed with the kind of sales that are happening in these ccTLDs that often get ignored by people here in the US.

One of the ccTLDs that has always been on my radar is .AU and .COM.AU. I used to go to Australia quite a bit back when I was working for Sonos and .AU and .COM.AU were everywhere. There’s a good community of Domainers in Australia and they have a nice advantage when it comes to registering .AU and .COM.AU domains since a presence is the key way to get names in these extensions.

But there has been a bit of a loophole. Someone like me, who doesn’t live in Australia, can still buy a .AU or .CO.AU domain without an Australian presence if we have an Australian Trademark. In April of this year, new restrictions are coming that will likely make this loophole, well, less loopy, if that makes sense. Here’s the skinny:

When registering an “.au” domain name you are required to prove that you have an Australian presence. One way of doing this is to be the owner of an Australian Trade Mark application or registration.

Currently, it is acceptable to register an “.au” domain if you are the owner of a Trade Mark that is closely and substantially connected to the domain for which you are applying to register. However, on 12 April 2021, the .au Domain Administration (auDA) will be changing the eligibility requirements and from this date it will be a requirement that the domain name be an exact match to the Trade Mark on which it is based.

(Source – Lexology)

While this isn’t going to impact me, I do know that some of my readers might invest in Australian domains so I wanted to pass this along. If you’ve been thinking this would be your year to dive into .AU domains, doing so before April might be the way to go.

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