What is an ABN

An Australian business number (ABN) is a unique 11-digit number that is provided when a business is registered with the Australian Business Register (ABR). In Australia, all businesses require an ABN in order to operate, regardless of their business structure. An ABN allows the government and others in your community to look up your business in the register.

LawPath offers an easy-to-use ABN registration service to complete your application in less than 5 minutes.

What does an ABN allow you to do

Businesses registered with an ABN are able to:

  • register for GST and claim GST credits
  • register for pay as you go (PAYG) withholding
  • deal with investment bodies
  • apply for registration as a charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC)
  • be endorsed as a deductible gift recipient or an income tax exempt charity.
  • get an AUSkey to transact online with government agencies
  • register a business name with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC)

How To Apply for an ABN

Are you entitled to receive an ABN

Everyone is eligible to apply for an ABN but not everyone is entitled to receive one. In order to be entitled to an ABN, you must show that:

  • You have business structure in place;
  • You are carrying on an enterprise in Australia; or
  • You are in the course of carrying on an enterprise that make supplies connected with Australia;
  • You have undertaken sufficient activities to commence an enterprise; or
  • You are a Corporations Act company.

To qualify for an ABN, it is important that you have a recognised business structure.

What you need to provide

You can apply for an ABN online. When applying for an ABN you will need to provide information regarding you and your business to the ABR. These include:

  • Details of any previous ABN you have held for the entity you are applying for;
  • Your tax agent’s contact number so they may undertake work on your behalf;
  • Details of any ACN for the company registered with ASIC;
  • Legal name of the entity you are applying for;
  • Your tax file number (TFN);
  • Details of all your business locations;
  • Contact details of the authorised person;
  • Details of your main business activities
  • Date the ABN is required; and a
  • A declaration that the information provided is correct.

One last thing!

Remember that if your business structure is a company, an Australian Company Number (ACN) is required before an ABN can be issued. After your new ABN is issued, you may apply to the Australian Taxation Office for a new ABN which will also be your new ACN with a 2 digit prefix.

LawPath can help you register an ABN online with our easy to use service.

Ready to register? 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.

Jennifer Wang

Jennifer is a Paralegal, working in our content team, which aims to provide free legal guides to facilitate public access to legal resources. With a keen interest in media and IP law, her research focuses on the evolving role of the law to navigate new and emerging information platforms.