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How to Register your Business

How to Register your Business

Learn about two aspects of registering your business: registering an ABN and registering a business name.

15th May 2015

What is involved in registering my business?

Registering your business has two aspects: registering an Australian Business Number (ABN) and registering a business name. It also means that you can conduct your business Australia-wide rather than being registered in each individual state and territory.

You do have the option of changing your company structure in the future if the nature of your business changes, however getting it right from the beginning can save you a significant amount of money.

What is the difference between an ACN, ABN and a business name?

An ACN, or Australian Company Number is the unique number you receive when you register your company. This will enable you to obtain your ABN.

An ABN is a 11 digit number that identifies your business to the government and the community, while a business name is the name under which you conduct your business.

Do I need to register my business?

There are several reasons for why you need to register an ABN, including:

  • being able to register for GST or PAYD
  • avoid getting payments withheld (your business clients must withhold 49% of payments if you do not quote an ABN on your tax invoice)
  • enhancing the legitimacy of your business by including an ABN on your tax invoices and/or websit
  • being able to register a domain
  • being able to register a business name
  • be endorsed as a gift deductible recipient or income tax exempt charity (if eligible).

If you are conducting business in Australia, you are required to register a business name unless:

  • You are operating under your own name as a sole trader;
  • You are in a partnership that is operating under the names of all the partners; or
  • You are already a registered company in Australia and your company name is your operating name.

To register a business name, you will need to have an ABN or be in the process of getting an ABN.

Lawpath offers two options to register your business:

Company Starter Bundle: Take the hassle out of registering your business and complete everything in one go: You get:

  • ACN + ABN Registration;
  • GST + TFN + PayG + .au Domain Registration.


Company Registration: Or, choose the simple company registration option. You get:

  • ACN Registration


Unsure where to start? 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.

Dominic Woolrych

Dominic is the CEO of Lawpath, dedicating his days to making legal easier, faster and more accessible to businesses. Dominic is a recognised thought-leader in Australian legal disruption, and was recognised as a winner of the 2015 Australian Legal Innovation Index.