Australian domain names in simple terms are centrally regulated and organised through the Australian Domain Administration (AuDa), an entity endorsed by the Commonwealth/Federal Government.

In practical terms, this means that a domain name that a business holds is licensed to them under a set of rules that must be followed to initially qualify to obtain it and also continue to control it. For domain names like, obtaining the domain requires that you meet some unique eligibility requirements, chiefly you must provide an Australian Business Name (ABN) or equivalent. This is done to prove that the holder of the domain is based in Australia and is not an overseas entity.

Where this becomes a problem is when the ABN provided to qualify for the domain's registration no longer exists, and therefore the business that wants to hold the domain name is no longer eligible to do so without providing a new ABN. As to do so conflicts with ownership/control protections, which is to say that protections are in place to prevent a none authorised person from stealing a domain from it's legitimate owner.

In simple terms, domains are viewed as assets, just like a building or a car. So transferring a domain to a new ABN is viewed in the same way as transferring a property from one owner to another. This can be frustrating because sometimes the issue is overlooked for several years, as some accountants and lawyers fail to consider domains as assets when a business is sold for example. Likewise, accountants that aid in changing business structures from sole transfer to the company for example fail to correctly update a domain name. Retrospectively proving ownership being transferred is a more involved process than a proactive approach.

Resolving the problem

The best way to identify the best solution to the issue is to complete our domain troubleshooting form.

In simple terms, there are two broad grouping of solutions, these are where:

  1. The old ABN is that of a former owner
  2. The old ABN is that of a previous business structure
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