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  • Registration obligations for businesses

    If you're starting a new business you may need an Australian business number (ABN). Not everyone is entitled to an ABN, so the registration process will ask specific questions to determine your entitlement to an ABN.

    To work as a business you'll need an ABN, which generally means you:

    • provide products and services directly to your customers, whether that's the public or other businesses
    • source your own customers, for example by advertising your products and services
    • quote and invoice for work, including setting or negotiating prices
    • have a separate business bank account and your own business insurance such as public liability and WorkCover
    • lodge and report all business income, even if the business earnings are below the tax-free threshold.

    An ABN has its own set of obligations. You may be required to:

    • register for goods and services tax (GST)
    • lodge activity statements to us
    • register for PAYG withholding and meet your super obligations for eligible employees
    • meet other federal, state and territory regulatory obligations such as payroll tax, worker’s compensation, and operating licences.

    Once you have your ABN, you can deal with us online using myGovID and Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM).

    You can register for your ABN and any tax registrations at the same time through the Australian Business Register (ABR) website.

    You will need to notify us within 28 days if you update your ABN details, such as:

    • add or cancel a registration – for example, you must register for PAYG withholding if you start employing people
    • change your business details, like the address or authorised contact person
    • cease operating your business – you are required to cancel your ABN and any tax registrations            
      • you must finalise all of your business obligations, including lodging any reports and tax returns, paying tax debts and finalising your activity statements.

    Next steps  

    Media: ABN: What you need to know Link (Duration: 00:55)

    See also  

    Last modified: 15 Jul 2020QC 31789