A common question for new clients is why they need an ABN to be able to register a .com.au or .net.au domain name.
All domain names that end with .au are regulated and managed by the auDA and are endorsed by the Australian Government.
In 2012 the auDA defined a policy for all domains that are registered under the .au level. You can read the full policy here:
This policy outlines the rules and requirements different domain names registered under the .au level. These rules are in place so that eligible registrants have access to meaningful domain names for their purpose. It also attempts to stop the practice of other parties registering domain names for the purpose of over-inflating costs and making domain names a resellers market.
.com.au and .net.au are purposed for commercial purposes only. This is why an ABN is needed as it's the only mechanism for determining that you are a commercial entity. You do not have to have a company to have a .com.au you can be a sole trader or trade mark owner.
To be able to register a .com.au or .net.au domain you must be:
a) an Australian registered company; or
b) trading under a registered business name in any Australian State or Territory; or
c) an Australian partnership or sole trader; or
d) a foreign company licensed to trade in Australia; or
e) an owner of an Australian Registered Trade Mark; or
f) an applicant for an Australian Registered Trade Mark; or
g) an association incorporated in any Australian State or Territory; or
h) an Australian commercial statutory body.
and the domain name you want to register must also be:
a) an exact match, abbreviation or acronym of the registrant’s name or trademark; or
b) be otherwise closely and substantially connected to the registrant
There are some rare case variations to the above which you can check on the auDA website at the link provided above.
If you need to register an ABN you can do so via the Australian Government - Australian Business Registrar website:
Note: There is no fee for applying for an ABN so make sure you use the Australian Government website as other websites may charge a third party fee.