There’s a myriad of reasons why it might be time for you to cancel your Australian Business Number (ABN). Some of these include changing your business structure, if you will no longer be operating your business in Australia, or if you decide to shut your business.

Here we’ll explain how you can do this, and the effects of cancelling your ABN.

Before you cancel your ABN…

Although the reasons for cancelling an ABN vary, it’s important to understand why, and whether cancellation is necessary. If you are shutting the doors to your business for good, cancellation is the best option. However, there are cases where it might seem like the best option, but it isn’t necessarily the case.

Example

You have decided that it’s time to restructure your business as a company. You also wish to trade under a different name than your current business. In this case, registering a company requires an ABN and you can choose the company name during registration. It is not necessary in this case to cancel your ABN.

Before cancelling your ABN, a business will need to satisfy the following:

  • Any lodgements; and
  • All reporting and payment obligations with government agencies

A successful cancellation of your ABN will result in your tax registration for GST being canceled. Further, registrations for the luxury car tax, wine equalisation tax, and fuel tax credits will be canceled.

Additionally, any AUSkeys linked to your ABN will be canceled.

Cancelling your ABN

The quickest method to cancelling an ABN is online by using the online AUSkey service. Alternatively, you can speak to a taxation lawyer who can advise you.

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

Post-cancellation

After a successful cancellation of your ABN, you can still apply to have your 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.

Conclusion

There are differing methods available to any business owner looking to cancel their ABN. However, as a business owner, there are a number of important considerations to take into account.

Unsure 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. 

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.