If your business circumstances have changed, you should think about whether your Australian business number (ABN) needs to be updated or cancelled.
Cancellation of an ABN will usually be required if your business has been sold, has closed down or is no longer operating in Australia. Changes to the ABN may be required if the business structure has changed.

Need some guidance around your company registration? LawPath can connect you with an experienced business lawyer to advise you of your options revolving around company registration.

Considerations Before Cancelling

Before cancelling your ABN, a business will need to satisfy any lodgement, reporting and payment obligations with any government agencies. A successful cancellation of the ABN will result in the taxation registrations including the goods and services tax (GST), luxury car tax, wine equalisation tax and fuel tax credits being canceled. Additionally, any AUSkeys linked to the ABN will be canceled.

Steps to Cancel an ABN

The quickest method to cancelling an ABN is online by using the online AUSkey service, or through talking to your taxation professional who can cancel the ABN on your behalf.

Additionally, it is possible to cancel an ABN over-the-phone by calling the Australian Business Register on 13 92 26. Successful cancellation requires the individual who is recorded as a person authorised to update ABN details on behalf of the business to make the request to cancel the ABN. Finally, a registered tax agent or BAS agent can cancel your ABN.

Considerations After Cancelling Your ABN

After a successful cancellation of the ABN, a business can still apply to have their ABN reactivated. A comprehensive breakdown of the methods available to reapply for an ABN is available here.
However, If you are looking to reactivate your ABN and need more guidance, LawPath can connect you with an experienced business lawyer to assist you in reactivating your ABN.


There are differing methods available to any business owner looking to either cancel their ABN. However, as a business owner, there are a number of important considerations to account for before deciding to cancel the ABN. If you need further guidance concerning the cancellation of an ABN, then it is best to consult with LawPath’s experienced business lawyers.

Unsure where to start? Contact a LawPath consultant on 1800 529 728 to learn more about customising legal documents, obtaining a fixed-fee quote from our network of 700+ expert lawyers or to get answers to your legal questions.

Zachary Swan

Zac is currently Head of Content at LawPath, Australia’s largest and fastest growing online legal platform. Since joining LawPath, Zac has assisted 1000s of startups and small business’ with their legal needs.