• ABN a great start for business

    An easier and smarter way of doing business

    Getting down to business has never been easier thanks to the Australian business number (ABN). It's your key to a quicker and smarter way of dealing with other businesses and government.

    Great reasons to have an ABN

    The ABN is a unique 11 digit identifier which:

    • helps you claim goods and services tax (GST) credits
    • lets you claim fuel tax credits you qualify for
    • if not quoted to businesses you deal with, may result in amounts being withheld from payments to you under pay as you go (PAYG) withholding
    • allows businesses to easily confirm your details for ordering and invoicing.
    Further Information

    More information

    If your business has a GST turnover of $75,000 or more (or $150,000 or more for not-for-profit entities) you must register for GST and you'll need an ABN to do this. If your business has a lower GST turnover, it's up to you whether you register.

    End of further information
    Attention

    Business tip

    Taxi drivers must register for GST regardless of GST turnover.

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    ABN entitlement tool (individuals/sole traders)

    Find out if you are entitled to an Australian business number by completing this online questionnaire.

    Attention

    When applying for an ABN it is important that the information you provide is true and correct.

    Making a false or misleading statement to the Australian Business Register (ABR) may result in a penalty. However, if you made a mistake and we consider that you took reasonable care, a penalty will not apply.

    The penalty may also be reduced to nil if a voluntary disclosure is made about the statement before being contacted by the ABR.

    End of attention
    Further Information

    For more information on the penalty and voluntary disclosure, refer to Penalties for false or misleading statements made to the Australian Business Register.

    End of further information

    Applying for your ABN online

    The first step in commencing your business is to get an ABN. Visit abr.gov.au and select Apply for Australian business number (ABN). Sole traders, companies, partnerships, trusts and superannuation funds can apply for an ABN online. Provided your details can be validated, you will receive your ABN in real time. Written confirmation of your ABN registration will follow.

    Attention

    Business tip

    If you are a sole trader, you must have a tax file number before you can register for an ABN.

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    Staying in step with your ABN

    The Australian Business Register gives you instant electronic access to ABN information. Available 24 hours, seven days a week - it's easier, smarter and saves you time.

    To update your ABN details via the Australian Business Register you need an AUSkey. Visit Online Services for more information. Alternatively, see your tax agent or phone us on 13 28 66 to update your details.

    Attention

    Remember to update your ABN details within 28 days of any changes.

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    Lodging your activity statements online

    With an AUSkey you can lodge your activity statements online through the Business portal - you'll receive instant confirmation that it has been lodged.

    Further Information

    You may qualify for extra time to lodge and pay your activity statement - for more information visit Online Services.

    For more information about the ABR, refer to Different roads one path - getting down to business.

    End of further information
    • Last modified: 19 Dec 2012QC 17769