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

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

Etsy is one of the world's busiest online marketplaces. Read this article to find out whether you need an Australian Business Number (ABN) to sell on Etsy.

1st August 2019

Introduction

If you make jewellery, clothes or other custom goods, getting them out to the widest market possible can be difficult. Running your own website is one thing, but how do you get people to find it? One way you can sell your items on a larger scale is by selling your stock on Etsy. Etsy is an eCommerce hub which specialises in selling vintage goods, jewellery and crafts. As at the end of 2018, Etsy has sold to almost 40 million customers. If this is a platform you think you might want to join, read this article to learn about what you need, and if you require an ABN to sell on Etsy.

Do you need an ABN to sell on Etsy?

This depends on your profit amount and what you intend to gain from selling your products on Etsy. Consider whether you want to run your account as a full-scale business or as a hobby.

It’s also important to mention here that whilst anyone in Australia can apply for an ABN, you can only receive it if you meet certain conditions.

You will be able to get an ABN if you:

  • Are carrying on an enterprise in Australia
  • Provide your Tax File Number (TFN)
  • Your enterprise provides services or makes supplies connected with Australia
  • Have undertaken sufficient activities to start an enterprise
  • Will be able to demonstrate that you have a business structure in place

A hobby is not a an activity that is considered an enterprise. However, if you have a business plan in place and carry on in a businesslike manner and keep records, it is considered an enterprise.  Hence the decision will be up to you and how you conduct your Etsy Store Account.

Benefits of having an ABN

It’s wise to have an ABN due to the benefits. Some of these include:

  • The ability to claim back goods and services tax (GST) credits
  • Being able to claim fuel tax credits (if you qualify)
  • You can register for the pay-as-you-go (PAYG) withholding system
  • You can offer fringe benefits to your employees
  • Your dealings with other businesses will be smoother and more efficient

Whilst you will still need to claim any profit you make as part of your hobby, it’s about being ahead of the curve. If your business takes off and you haven’t registered your ABN, you may find yourself in a sticky situation with the ATO.

If your Etsy store makes over $75,000 in a financial year, then you will need to register an ABN. When it comes to invoicing your customers, Etsy and Paypal can provide this.

Conclusion

Selling your products on the Etsy marketplace can help you sell to a wider audience. However, it’s important to remain compliant with your ordinary business requirements, and this includes registering for an ABN. If you’re unsure about your obligations selling online, then it’s worth getting in touch with a business lawyer.

Don’t know where to start? Contact us on 1800 529 728 to learn more about customising legal documents and obtaining a fixed-fee quote from Australia’s largest lawyer marketplace.

Author
Dominic Woolrych

Dominic is the CEO of Lawpath, dedicating his days to making legal easier, faster and more accessible to businesses. Dominic is a recognised thought-leader in Australian legal disruption, and was recognised as a winner of the 2015 Australian Legal Innovation Index.