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The Australian business number (ABN) is a unique 11-digit identifier that makes it easier for businesses and all levels of government to interact.
You will need an ABN to:
Each entity (sole trader, partnership, company or trust) receives one ABN, regardless of the number of commercial activities or enterprises it undertakes – for example, a single entity running a cafe and a newsagency would have only one ABN.
But if you set up separate companies, partnerships or trusts, each entity must register in its own right.
If you plan to run your business through a company, you need to register your company and get an Australian Company Number (ACN) before you can get your ABN. You do this with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (asic.gov.auExternal Link).
Get it done
Register your new business
Put your ABN on your invoices
Put your ABN on your business stationery, especially your invoices. If you don't, other businesses must withhold 49% from any payment they make to you.
To be entitled to an ABN, you must be:
Work it out
For individuals, it may not be clear whether your activity constitutes a business that can have an ABN. You should check by using the online ABN entitlement toolExternal Link
A non-resident entity may be entitled to an ABN where either:
Your enterprise does not have to be located in Australia.
When applying for an ABN, it's important that the information you provide is true and correct. Making a false or misleading statement to the Australian Business Register may result in a penalty of up to $10,200. Refer to Penalties for false or misleading statements made to the Australian Business RegisterExternal Link.
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