What is a Domain Name?

Domain Names and their Extensions

Setting up a domain name is much like setting up a business name. You need to ensure that the name encapsulates what your business is about, is memorable and that no one else has bought the name. In every state in Australia there is a government body that oversees new business name registrations and renewals. In Queensland you would use the Office of Fair Trading.

Much like registering a new business name through the Office of Fair Trading, you register a domain name through a Web Host Company such as Rack Servers.

Once you register a new domain name you will immediately be told whether or not the name is taken and what extension is available (if any). As there are simply so many domain names registered these days it will take some time to find the domain name of your choice.

Once you register your domain name you will be sent an automated email with a success / failure notice. Just as there are rules for registering a business name there are rules for registering various domain names.

In order to register a .com.au domain extension you will need an Australian Business Name & number that is either an exact match or very similar to your domain name. Whilst this seems a little over the top it actually protects Australian Businesses from someone registering a domain name for the sole reason of domain squatting and stealing other companies intellectual property & name.

In Australia all domain names are overseen by the Australian Domain Authority (auDA).

The most common domain is .com – This Top Level Domain was the original domain extension and is not as strictly policed as a .com.au. Basically anyone can register a .com domain without an associated business. This has led to the issue of domain squatting. Domain squatting is when someone registers a domain name of another companies solely for financial gain. As an example the well known bank Westpac has an domain name of www.westpac.com.au but some cheeky person has registered the domain www.westpac.com. This is reputedly a spam site that is trying to a get a % of Westpac banks traffic.

And if someone can do it to Westpac, they could do it to you.

We always suggest that if you are starting your own business, ensure you purchase the domain extensions www.yourcompany.com.au & www.yourcompany.com at the very least.

This will ensure a competitor doesn’t take the same domain name with a similar extension solely to undermine you and your business.

Did you know there are over 75 different domain name extensions?

Here’s some of the most important Top Level Domains:

  • .mobi – denotes that the website is for mobile phones.
  • .biz – denotes a business address.
  • .org – suggested for Not For Profit Organisations.
  • .info – a general information website (not necessarily a company).
  • .net – a general domain, often used when .com is taken.
  • .tv – a domain extension for the TV and film industry.
  • .xxx – for adult sites or you can register to protect your IP.

Most second tier domain names are country specific:

  • .com.au – Australian.
  • .co.nz – New Zealand.
  • .com.fr – France.
  • .co.uk – United Kingdom.

Purchasing a domain name is one of the most important jobs you need to do when setting up a business. And with domain names starting from $12.50 p/ year it’s probably the cheapest way to protect your companies name and Intellectual property.

To purchase your new domain name see our domain registration page here…


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About Robin Jennings

I'm a creative web designer that specialises in designing and marketing websites for small business owners, community groups and creative types. I'm based in regional Victoria but work with clients Australia-Wide as well as a healthy sprinkling of overseas clients through my Web Design Agency: Explainafide


  1. Nice post!!! A domain name is a easy way to identify computers and other resources connected to the Internet. All organizations can have the different domain name. Keep in mind domain name is always short, simple and easy to remember. there are many companies online offer web hosting services on affordable prices, they offer domain name free with their plans.

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