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Do You need an ABN to Sell on Facebook? (2021 Update)

Do You need an ABN to Sell on Facebook? (2021 Update)

Looking to sell your products or second-hand items on Facebook? Find out whether you need an ABN to sell on Facebook here.

16th March 2021
Reading Time: 2 minutes

An Australian Business Number (ABN) is a unique number all commercial businesses in Australia must have. This includes sole traders, partnerships and companies. However, when it comes to selling on Facebook it can be hard to know how to define your business. In this article, we’ll explain whether you need an ABN to sell on Facebook.

Key points

  • You do not need an ABN in order to sell products on Facebook Marketplace
  • However, you may need an ABN if you will be using Facebook Business Manager and/or running ads on Facebook
  • Businesses which have a turnover of $75,000 or more a year need to have an ABN
  • You also need an ABN to apply for GST and PAYG Withholding

Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace is an exciting feature on the social media platform which allows users to sell their products. Although the marketplace gears itself towards individual users looking to sell second-hand items, businesses can also sell through this method. The big benefit of using Facebook Marketplace is that it’s free and allows sellers to pitch their products to a wider audience.

Do You need an ABN to Sell on Facebook?

The answer to this question is based on your profit and intentions for your Facebook Store Account when selling on Facebook. Are you running a business or is it a hobby? Simply selling on Facebook Marketplace does not mean you need an ABN, however if you are also using Business Manager or advertising on Facebook having an ABN is a good idea.

Applying for an ABN

Anyone can apply for an ABN, but you will only receive one if you are entitled.

You are entitled to an ABN if you are:

  • carrying on an enterprise in Australia
  • in the course of carrying on an enterprise make supplies connected with Australia or
  • have undertaken sufficient activities to commence an enterprise
  • able to demonstrate that you have a business structure in place

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

Acquiring an ABN is advisable due to the benefits: the ability to claim back goods and services tax (GST) credits, claim fuel tax credits you quality for, register to use the pay-as-you-go withholding system, be able to offer fringe benefits to employees, and making dealing with other businesses a smooth process.  Whilst you will still need to claim profit using your Tax File Number for your hobby if you don’t have an ABN, it is also a matter of being future focused and not getting caught out with tax when your “hobby” takes off.

You must register for GST if your Facebook Store makes over $75,000 in a financial year. This process will require an ABN. PayPal can provide an invoice for your customer.

If you are still unsure about whether selling on Facebook is a Business or a Hobby please refer to our legal blog on Do You Need an ABN for a Hobby?

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