A domain name is an essential part of a website’s online address and allows visitors to search for the website. It functions as the identifying feature of the network address to show which particular domain it belongs to, such as lawpath.com, lawpath.net, or lawpath.org.au.

It’s often confused with an URL which is the unique address of the website entered into the address bar of the web browser. A URL includes all those quirky hyphens, slashes and random numbers that show up in the browser bar when you open up a webpage.

Advantages of registering a domain name

Having your own domain name gives your business a unique online identifier and provides many advantages for your online business or service. A domain name can help protect your brand as it prevents anyone else from registering the same one for as long as you continue to renew it.

There are a few different types of domain names out there for you to choose from. These include:

  • Top level domain names such as .com, .net, .biz, .org etc;
  • Second level domain names such as .com.au, .co.nz, .net.uk etc;
  • General top level domain names such as .travel, .realestate, .fashion etc; and
  • Country code top level domain names such as .au, .nz, .uk, .tv etc.

It is important to consider what image or information you want your webpage to project. For example, a business based in Australia may choose the second level domain name .com.au whereas a worldwide charity organisation may prefer a top level domain name such as .org.

How to Register a Domain Name

Registering your domain name

Before you register your domain name, it is important you review which domains you are eligible for and whether they are available. For example in Australia, an Australian Business Number (ABN) is required for all .au domains.

Next, find a registrar for your domain. Particular domain names such as .au require an accredited registrar. Conduct a search to find out whether your domain name has already been taken. It’s recommended to have a few names and combinations on hand to find out which ones are available for registration. If your domain name is available, the registrar will offer you the opportunity to register it for a set period of time.

As registration fees can vary greatly between different providers, it is important to do your homework on fees and providers. LawPath provides complimentary .au domain names with our company registration.

One last thing

Just remember that domain names are not permanent and the license only lasts for a specified period. If you wish to use the domain name or website brand identity forever, we recommend you consider applying for a trademark.

Unsure where to start? Contact a LawPath consultant on 1800LAWPATH to learn more about customising legal documents, obtaining a fixed-fee quote from our network of 600+ expert lawyers or to get answers to your legal questions.

Jennifer Wang

Jennifer is a Paralegal, working in our content team, which aims to provide free legal guides to facilitate public access to legal resources. With a keen interest in media and IP law, her research focuses on the evolving role of the law to navigate new and emerging information platforms.