Could this be a new Australian internet tax?

What I’m calling a new Australian Internet tax isn’t an actual tax, but it might as well be. There’s an organisation in Australia called the auDA, which is the Australian Domain Administration. They’re pushing to have direct .au domain registrations. After all, having sounds pretty awesome, right?

Trust me, it’s anything but awesome.

The problem with this idea is that it’s a horrible one for business. If you own a business in Australia, you’re going to have to buy new domain names just to make sure cyber squatters don’t register your name out from under you. Depending on your business, you may have 20 variations or more of your basic business domain name.

All told, roughly three million more domain names will have to be bought, just to cover the existing domains list in Australia.

According to the auDA, there are some benefits, which are dubious, at best. They say it gives Australians more choice in domain names, when it actually forces us to pay for even more domains.

They say they’re responding to market demands, but the only actual demand to be found is at the end of a badly worded survey they sent out to 3,000 people. In essence, they’ve created a situation, and then called it a demand. The result is only financially good for domain registrars and re-sellers.

Fortunately, there’s a way to fight back. AuDA is a membership organisation. I joined it a little over a year ago. There’s still time to make an impact, as the association is still doing research on the subject.

Become a member and make your feelings known as they consult with their membership. The small membership fee is a tiny percentage of what you’re going to have to pay if this ruling passes. How many domain names are you going to have to buy if this happens?

For more information, visit the StewArt website.

Jim Stewart is a leading expert in search engine optimisation. His business StewArt Media has worked with clients including Mars, M2 and the City of Melbourne.

This article was originally published on Smart Company

Follow StartupSmart on Facebook, TwitterLinkedIn and iTunes

You can help keep SmartCompany free for everyone to read

Small and medium businesses and startups have never needed credible, independent journalism and information more than now.

That’s our job at SmartCompany: to keep you informed with the news, interviews and analysis you need to manage your way through this unprecedented crisis.

Now, there’s a way you can help us keep doing this: by becoming a SmartCompany Supporter.

Even a small contribution will help us to keep doing the journalism that keeps Australia’s entrepreneurs informed.

And it’s not all one-way traffic either. SmartCompany Super Supporters get to dial into our monthly editor’s meeting and attend a monthly, invite-only webinar with a big-name entrepreneur.