Launching a website nowadays doesn’t require any coding experience with content management systems such as WordPress and Joomla providing business owners with the tools necessary to start their business. With every website, a domain name must be registered to direct website visitors to your site. Once a domain is purchased from a domain registrar, it is pointed to your web hosting provider. This article explores whether you need an Australian Business Number (ABN) to register a domain name in Australia.

Registering a Domain

To purchase a ccTLD domain (a country code Top Level Domain), such as a .com.au domain name, you must register it through a domain registrar accredited by the Australian Domain Name Authority (auDA). The auDA is the regulatory body that sets out the use of the .au domain space. Under the auDA, domains registered with .com.au, net.au or .org.au must be registered by Australian sole traders, registered businesses and companies. To be a sole trader, business or company, you are required to register an ABN or ACN. Accordingly, to register a domain name ending in .au, you must have an ABN or ACN to proceed with the registration. The auDA also accept a Trade Mark Number (from the owner of the registered trade mark, or the applicant of the trade mark), State Business Number or Incorporated Association Number (an incorporated association in any Australian State or Territory) to prove your eligibility. The auDA also issues .id.au for personal use which requires no ABN or ACN.

If you are registering a .org.au domain name, you must also be a registered non-profit or charity. To become a registered charity or non-profit, you must obtain registration from the ACNC (Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission). There are strict legal requirements in meeting the standard to be registered with the ACNC. Once you are registered with the ACNC, you will be given a Charity ABN, which you can use to register your .org.au domain address.

Purchasing a .com Domain Name

If you do not have an ABN or ACN, you can register other domains such as those ending in .com, .net., .org or .info. These domain names are not country specific and can be registered by anyone. You can use any domain registrar to register a top level domain and select the period you would like to register the domain for. This can be from one year to ten years.

When you register a domain, you will be asked to provide certain contact information such as your name, phone number, email address and postal address. This information will be publicly available through a WHOIS registry. If you wish for this information not to be publicly available, you should register your domain with WHOIS Protection. This will mask your personal information and anyone who wishes to contact you will be required to go through the domain registrar.

Key Takeaways

You are required to have an Australian Business Number or Australian Company Number to register a .com.au domain in Australia or any other ccTLD. If you do not have an ABN, you can register a .id.au address, or register a .com domain. If you need assistance registering an Australian Business Number or have any questions about domain registrations, get in touch with our business lawyers. We can also assist with Professional Opinion Letters for Extended SSL Certificates.

Anthony Lieu

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