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Do You need an ABN to Sell on eBay? (2019 Update)

Do You need an ABN to Sell on eBay? (2019 Update)

Selling your products on eBay is a great starting point in the eCommerce industry. Find out if you need an ABN first in this article.

12th November 2019

eBay is a common starting spot for budding ecommerce entrepreneurs and it’s not hard to see why. Selling your products on eBay can be a great launching pad for your business. Further, you can do it all online. In this article, we’ll discuss a common query that eBay entrepreneurs often have – the question of business registrations and whether you need an ABN to sell on eBay.

Australian Business Numbers (ABNs)

An Australian Business Number (ABN) is a unique number allocated to business owners. This number is used to identify your business, so will most often be seen on formal correspondence, invoices and business documents. Sole traders, companies and partnerships are all requires to have an ABN. However, having an ABN does not entitle you to a business name (this will have to be registered separately).

Anyone can apply for an ABN, but your application will only be accepted if you:

  • Are carrying on an enterprise in Australia
  • Your enterprise is sufficiently connected with Australia
  • Have undertaken sufficient activities to commence an enterprise
  • Are able to demonstrate that you have a business structure in place

What if my business is a hobby?

There is a significant difference in what is considered a hobby and an enterprise. If your business is a hobby, you won’t have to register for an ABN. However, if you have a business plan in place, carry on in a businesslike manner and keep records then your hobby is an enterprise.

In addition to this, registering for an ABN has many benefits, which include:

  • TAX credits for GST and fuel
  • Ability to register for PAYG (if you hire employees)
  • Smoother dealings with other businesses

You will also need to apply for an ABN if your business earns more than $75,000 per year. This is so that you can apply for GST, as you will have to charge this to customers. Further, you may be liable to pay a heavy fine if your venture earns more than $75,000 and doesn’t have an ABN. You will also need to have an ABN if you wish to register a business name.

eBay

eBay itself does not require sellers on its website to provide an ABN. Despite this, most sellers will list their ABN on their accounts for GST purposes. Further, there are other online sites which do require you to have an ABN, so if you have any ambitions of expanding your business, applying for an ABN to sell on eBay is a good move. If you have further questions about your obligations as a business owner, it may be worth contacting a business lawyer.

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Author
Jackie Olling

Jackie is the Content Manager at Lawpath and manages the content team. She has a Law/Arts (Politics) degree from Macquarie University and is an admitted solicitor in the Supreme Court of NSW. She's interested in how technology can help shape the future legal landscape.