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Where Do I Need to Display My Company’s ACN?

Where Do I Need to Display My Company’s ACN?

When running a company, you need to make sure you display your Australian Company Number (ACN) in the required places. Find out more here.

24th June 2020
Reading Time: 2 minutes

A company must display their Australian Company Number (ACN) to the standard set by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. This article provides a simple breakdown of the do’s and do not’s to ensure you understand these requirements. 

What is an ACN?

An Australian Company Number is a nine digit number. ASIC will issue every new company with an ACN and is unique for each company. Its use is to identify and monitor the company. However, unlike an ABN, only companies require an ACN (not sole traders or partnerships). Despite this, a company will have both an ABN and ACN.

When does it have to be displayed?

ASIC sets out the requirements for displaying an ACN. A company must display its Australian Company Number on all ‘public documents’ and ‘eligible negotiable instruments’. These include:

  • All documents lodged with ASIC
  • Statements of account, including invoices
  • Receipts (for instance not machine-produced)
  • Orders for goods and services
  • Business letterheads
  • Official company notices
  • Cheques, promissory notes and bills of exchange, and
  • Written advertisements making a specific offer.

Further, when a company has a common seal, the following is required:

  • The company’s name, expression ‘Australian Company Number’ and the company’s ACN, or
  • if the company uses its ABN instead of the ACN, the company’s name, the expression ‘Australian Business Number’ and the company’s ABN

Where does it need to be displayed?

The required formatting of the Australian Company Number is as follows:  

  • The ACN must appear on the first page of any documents.
  • When multiple companies are on a document, the ACN for each company must be displayed next to each company’s name. This makes it obvious as to which ACN relates to which company.
  • It must always be clear and easy to read.
  • The ACN may be referred to as either ‘ACN’, ‘A.C.N.’ or ‘Australian Company Number’. 
  • There are no font or size regulations. It only has to meet the other formatting requirements. 

Australian Business Number (ABN)

If your company has an ABN, you can use this number in the place of an Australian Company Number. This is used on company documents and negotiable instruments. It can be used when your ABN contains your ACN and is presented in the same way that you would present your ACN.

Which documents do not require you to display your ACN?

You may be wondering if there is anytime when you are not required to display your Australian Company Number. You do not need to display it on: 

  • Packaging and labelling, including envelopes and transport documents
  • Advertisements which do not make a specific offer (such as advertisements which only promote the company)
  • Credit cards and credit card vouchers
  • Machine-generated receipts (for example cash-register receipts)
  • Business cards and ‘with compliments’ slips
  • Items which are not documents (such as vehicles, television advertisements)

Above all, your Australian Company Number is an important identifier for your company. This breakdown showcases the necessity to include your ACN or ABN when required as outlined by ASIC. In conclusion, you can register your company today and receive your ACN with ease from Lawpath.

Liesel Millard

Liesel is a legal tech intern at Lawpath, working as part of the Content Team. She is currently in her second year of a combined Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Laws degree at the University of Technology Sydney. She is interested in areas of sports, corporate and intellectual property law.