If you are setting up a small business or organisation, certain steps must be followed to ensure that you comply with the Australian taxation network. Your Tax File Number (TFN) is your business’s identification number in the Australian tax and superannuation systems.

Although you are not obligated to have a TFN when operating your business, it’s important to consider making an application. A TFN validates your business, not only financially but also in the eyes of your client.

Why Do I Need a TFN for My Business?

Why should you join the taxation system? When starting up a small business, you cannot use your individual TFN. You must apply for a company TFN. A TFN allows the Australian Government to identify your business in the system to administer tax. This means that you can also apply for a tax return each year.

Most businesses apply for their TFN at the same time as their Australian Business Number (ABN) application. There are many reasons to obtain an ABN in itself. To name a few:

  • An ABN allows you to register for GST and PAYG.
  • You must have registered for GST if you turnover $74,999 per year, therefore you need an ABN.
  • An Australian Business Number on company invoices and the company website legitimises your business from a client perspective.

If would like to register or reactivate your ABN, take a look at out our company registration service, which provides a variety of company registration bundles for you to choose from.

For now, here is your guide on how to apply for a business TFN online:


You cannot apply for a TFN for your business if you are one of the following:

  • Individual;
  • Sole trader;
  • Government organisation; or
  • Superannuation entity.

The Australian Taxation Office website allows individuals to apply for their TFN here.

How to Speed Up Your Application Process

The Australian Business Register allows companies and organisations to quickly apply online for their TFN if they provide the following information:

  • Tax Agent Registration Number (TAN) – if it is used
  • Australian Company Number (ACN) or Australian Registered Body Number (ARBN) – if it applies
  • Business/postal address
  • Authorised contact details
  • Associates details – including their name, date of birth and TFN (if they choose not to disclose their TFN, provide residential address)
  • Business activity – the types of activities and the date on which the TFN is required.

And So Your Quest Begins…

Simply follow the prompts on the Australian Business Register page and you will be directed to the application form for your business TFN. Otherwise you may contact the Australian Business Register from their website.

Final Thoughts

Whichever path you take, LawPath is taking the hard work out of registering a company by providing you with a range of company registration bundles that contain the documents that you need to start your business. That way you can understand and take control of the tax terms that initially seemed too daunting to understand.

Ready to register your TFN online? Contact a LawPath consultant on 1800LAWPATH to learn more about customising legal documents, obtaining a fixed-fee quote from our network of 600+ expert lawyers or to get answers to your legal questions.

Sydney Rae

Sydney is a Paralegal at LawPath working in our content team, which works to provide free legal guides to enhance public access to legal resources. With a keen interest in Tort and IP Law, her research focuses on small businesses, and how they can better navigate complex legal procedures.