• Registering your business

    When you start a business you need to get an Australian business number (ABN) and a TFN if you don’t already have one.

    It's good to get an AUSkey too so you can use our online services for business reporting.

    You may also need to register for GST and other taxes, such as pay as you go (PAYG) withholding and fringe benefits tax (FBT). These other registrations depend on the type of business you're running.

    If you need help, phone the Business tax infoline on 13 28 66.

    Find out about registering for:

    See also:

    Getting a TFN

    All businesses need a tax file number (TFN). If you're operating your business as a sole trader, then you can use your personal TFN. For other business structures, you can get a TFN when you apply for an ABN.

    Getting an ABN

    An Australian business number (ABN) is the number your business uses when dealing with other businesses, government, and the ATO.

    You need an ABN to operate in the GST system and claim GST credits. You must include it on your invoices. If you don't, other businesses will withhold tax at the highest rate from any payments they make to you.

    To get an ABN:

    • Apply onlineExternal Link through the Australian Business Register
    • phone us on 13 92 26, or
    • apply through a registered tax agent.

    When you're applying for an ABN, you can register your business name, get an AUSkey, and register for taxes like GST and PAYG withholding at the same time (if you need to).

    If your business details change – for example, if you change your address or authorised contact person – you must advise us within 28 days.

    See also:

    Update your details

    Getting an AUSkey

    AUSkey is a secure login that lets you deal with us (and many other government agencies) online.

    An AUSkey lets you use the ATO Business Portal to:

    • lodge your business activity statements online
    • check your tax account balance and update your registration details
    • add or cancel registrations for GST and PAYG withholding online.

    You can register for an AUSkey when you're applying for your ABN, or you can get one later.

    See also:

    Online reporting tools

    Registering your business name

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

    You don’t have to do this if you use your own name as the business name.

    To apply for a registered business name you need to have an ABN or be applying for one.

    See also:

    Register a business name with ASICExternal Link (if you already have an ABN)

    Last modified: 12 Jan 2016QC 39604