4 Simple Steps to Reactivate Your ABN (2022 Update)

Feb 18, 2021
Reading Time: 3 minutes
Written by Ryan Van

Whether you’ve cancelled your ABN for a short time or for years, here’s everything you need to know about reactivating your cancelled ABN.

People cancel their Australian Business Numbers (ABN) for a number of reasons. Perhaps you’ve decided to stop trading, you’ve sold your business, or you’ve decided to change your business’s structure. However, sometimes business owners may wish to resume trading but you should always reactivate your ABN first. If this is the case, it is possible to reactivate your ABN.

Business owners that have cancelled their ABN may think that they can just get back up and trade. However, without an ABN, your business has no identification and you’ll be breaking the law. In this article, we’ll tell you how to reactivate your ABN whether its been dormant for a few weeks or a few years.

Table of Contents

  • Do I have to reactivate my ABN or just update it?
  • How to reactivate a cancelled ABN
  • Should I just get a new ABN?

Do I Reactivate My ABN, Or Just Update It?

Re-applying for an ABN is only valid if your ABN has been cancelled. You’ll be able to see which one applies on the ABN lookup tool. If your ABN is still active then you’re required to update the details of your new venture within 28 days.

The best way of processing this is via your AUSkey, however, this can also be updated online or by contacting the ABR (Australian Business Register).

If your ABN has been cancelled then it’s essential you follow the process of getting this reactivated. This is because it’s an offence to quote an inactive ABN in a transaction. Further, if your business is making $75,000 per year or more, you cannot trade without having an active ABN. 

Reactivating a Cancelled ABN

Once you’ve confirmed that your ABN is cancelled, you simply need to re-apply for it. A simple way is through Lawpath’s ABN registration service, where you can reactivate your ABN within 24 hours. Here are the 4 steps you can take to reactivate a cancelled ABN with us (N.B be sure to follow along from the link above as the steps are directly correlated):

1. Fill out basic registration information

Enter basic contact information such as your; email, contact number, name and business location (N.B this has to be a physical address and not a PO box). Moreover, if you would like to nominate an authorised contact for updates of the application to be sent to – such as an accountant – you can fill that in along with your TFN (Tax File Number).

2. Provide your business details

Answer the four “yes” or “no” questions truthfully. Be sure to check “YES” for the fourth question asking if you’ve previously had an ABN before and enter the details accordingly. To ensure we have a fast turnaround time, you can also enter what date you require the re-activated ABN from as well as what states and territories your business operates in too.

3. Fill out the GST & Business Name form

Fill out the details accordingly in the final form to ensure that any of your extra considerations are met.

4. Confirmation and completion

Once you have completed all the fields, double check that you have provided the correct information. Within 24 hours your ABN will be reactivated.

Alternatively, you can re-apply through the ABR website. Their system will then search for your previous ABN. Once authorised, your ABN status should update to ‘Active’ upon lookup.

What About a New ABN?

If you’ve never previously applied for an ABN, you can apply for a new one within 5 minutes online. The benefit of doing this is that the turnaround will be faster, meaning you’ll receive your ABN as soon as possible. To sum up, there’s always ways you can activate your ABN and it’s a fairly simple straightforward process to follow. 

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