Considering an estimated half of all Australian businesses have a web presence, even a minor shake up to the way website domains operate could have a large impact.

Australia’s domain administration, auDA, is looking at introducing new “.au” domain names – allowing for an option to drop the “.com” from “.com.au”. For example, with this new domain format Emote Digital’s website could go from “emotedigital.com.au” to ”emotedigital.au.”

This might not look like a drastic shake up; in fact you could argue that it’s more convenient for users. That is until you realise that this new domain will need to be purchased and registered on top of the current one.

Naturally many business owners are concerned about this proposition, as it could dilute their brand’s online presence. Imagine if you operate in a competitive industry and are fortunate enough to have your name registered, only for someone to swoop in on the new .au format and muddy the waters. The headache of contesting and pushing back could be an expensive and time-consuming process. It’s important to note that whilst many recognise the potential for conflict, the actual resolution process has not yet been outlined by the auDA.

If you’re concerned and want to prevent potential conflicts down the line, we recommend purchasing the variation if and when it becomes available. The relatively small upfront cost could save you headaches in the future.

Currently there is no solid date established for the .au introduction, and there is a possibility it won’t eventuate, but as with most things it’s best to be aware and prepared if it happens.