How to Register a Domain Name?

Business Advice & Assistance Starting a Business Digital Marketing

Every business needs a website, and the first step to building one is working out how to register a domain for it.  The actual process of registering a domain name is fairly simple, but the steps needed to choose the RIGHT domain are trickier.  This article will help you choose the right business website domain name, make sure you’ve got all the information you need to do so, and provide you with useful resources to complete your registration.

What is a Domain Name?

Your domain name is your website address or URL.  In Australia most businesses use a domain that ends in .com.au or less often .net.au.  Domains with these extensions are trusted and recognised by Australian consumers and every business should do their best to register a .com.au domain.  Some businesses may find it useful to also register a domain with a .com extension (notice there’s no .au extension) as well and redirect that to their website.

Do you need a Website to Register a Domain Name?

No, you do not.  You can just register a domain and leave it parked until you have a website ready, or you could redirect your domain to one of your social media channels.  You can also use it to have nicely branded email addresses for your business using a service like Office365 or G-Suite.

What Requirements are there to Register a Domain Name?

To register a .com.au or .net.au domain you must be able to prove that you are doing business in Australia.  The simplest way of proving this is to have an Australian Business Number (ABN) or an Australian Company Number (ACN).  Less often domains can be granted to holders of valid Australian registered trademarks.

A second and seemingly obvious requirement to register a domain name is that it is available to register.  This fantastic tool on the Australian Government Business website will allow you to check if your desired domain name is available and will also check business name availability at the same time.

Choose a Great Domain Name for your Business

Your domain name is one of the most important branding decisions you can make.  When choosing a domain make sure you follow these principles:

  • It’s a clear representation of your brand or business.
  • It’s easy to spell, and easy to say.
  • Ideally it’s short and memorable.
  • Isn’t too generic or makes use of commonly used words.
  • Doesn’t include any numbers or hyphens.

Register the Domain

Domain Administration is responsible for .au domains and you can purchase domains through either an accredited domain name registrar or a reseller.  You can see a list of accredited auDA domain name registrars here and there is a reseller search tool here

Generally you’d be better off using a reputable Australian based domain name registrar instead of a reseller or a company based overseas.

How much does it cost?

At time of writing (October 2020) it shouldn’t cost more than $15-$25 Australian dollars per year to register a domain.

Keeping Control of Your Domain Name

Make sure you have control over your domain name.  This means keeping the account details used to register the domain secure and recoverable in the case of a disaster.  It also means that you should never hand over control of your domain to a third party such as a website developer.

If you need any advice on how to register a domain name for your business or help choosing the right domain name contact the Polaris Centre Digital Business Advisor or give us a phone call on (08) 8260 8205.

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