Want to start a website? Before you do, it’s important to know what information you’ll have to provide and whether you need to have an ABN to Register a Domain name.

Starting a website requires the site owner to first register a domain name. Your domain name should reflect what your website does and be easy for users to remember. If you’re starting a business, having a domain name which is the same as your business will help customers find you online.

If you’re intending on starting a website, this article will tell you the instances where you’ll need to have an ABN to register a domain.

How domain names work

Your domain name is how users will find you online. Rather than have users connect to your IP address, your domain name is much easier for users to remember. Whereas your IP address is a collection of numbers in random order with a full stop in between, your domain name is a name you choose. Your domain name can be seen in this sense as your websites street address, rather than pinpointing it by its latitude and longitude points.

Because users will remember your domain name, you should make it memorable. For example, if your business is called ‘Stellar Stationary’ you’d register your domain as ‘www.stellarstationary.com.au’. If your domain name isn’t related to your business name or what it does, your customers may not be able to find you easily online.

The Australian Domain Name Authority (auDA) administers domain registration in Australia. AuDA oversee all registrations and ensure that Australian domains are stored safely and securely.

When will I need an ABN to Register a Domain?

If you want your domain to end in .au,.com.au or .org.au, then you must provide your business details to auDA. This is because these extensions are reserved for commercial use only. These details include:

By contrast, .com and .net extensions do not require you to provide business details, as these are not Australian-only domains. Further, you can register a website under the domain .id.au if you do not have a business. However, you can only register a .id.au domain name if you will not be using the site for commercial reasons.

Example

You want to start a website but don’t have an ABN. You want your website to be a hub for book reviews. You’ve registered your business as a .com domain. After you launch your site, book stores start offering to sell on your website. You take them up on this offer and also start showing advertisements for the latest releases.

In the scenario above, it’s fine for you to have registered your site as a .com domain, when your site was purely functioning as a hobby. However, because your site is now providing a commercial service, you need to re-register your domain as a .au. If you don’t, your site may be taken down by auDA.

Finally

If you are using your domain for your business or other commercial purposes, it is recommended that you have an ABN. This will not only let you register an .au domain, but will also add legitimacy to your site. If you don’t have an ABN, you register for one online.

Don’t know where to start? Contact us on 1800 529 728 to learn more about customising legal documents and obtaining a fixed-fee quote from Australia’s largest legal marketplace.

Dominic Woolrych

Dominic is the CEO of LawPath, dedicating his days to making legal easier, faster and more accessible to businesses. Dominic is a recognised thought-leader in Australian legal disruption, and was recognised as a winner of the 2015 Australian Legal Innovation Index.