Business or company registrations

If you're applying for an Australian business number (ABN), you can also apply for a business name and register for taxes like GST and PAYG withholding at the same time.

Find out about:

Australian business number (ABN)

An 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:

  • operate in the GST system, including claiming GST credits
  • avoid pay as you go (PAYG) tax on payments you receive
  • confirm your business identity to others when ordering and invoicing
  • connect to Manage ABN Connections or get an AUSkey to transact online with government agencies
  • be endorsed as a gift deductible recipient or an income tax exempt charity.

Next step:

Secure online authentication

To securely access a number of government online business services like the Business Portal or ABR, you need a secure way to verify your business identity. You can do this using either:

  • Manage ABN Connections
  • AUSkey.

Manage ABN Connections confirms your identity through myGov when you connect your ABN to your myGov account. It offers you flexibility to conduct your business anytime, anywhere because it's compatible with all browsers and mobile devices.

AUSkey is another secure login option. You can register for an AUSkey during your ABN application or at any later time. Before registering, check your system is compatible.

Next steps

Registering your business name

Most businesses will need to apply for a registered business name with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC).

You can carry on a business in your own name without registering a business name if you don't change or add anything to your name. For example, John Smith doesn't have to register a name to trade as J Smith or John Smith, but he does to trade as John Smith Landscaping.

To apply for a registered business name you will need to have applied for or have an ABN.

Next step:

Getting an Australian company number (ACN)

If you plan to run your business through a company, you need to register your company and get an ACN before you can get your ABN and tax registrations. You do this with ASIC.

Next step:

Last modified: 12 Jul 2016QC 31785