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Changing, pausing, closing, selling, or winding up a business

Find out what you need to do when you plan to change, pause, sell or close your business.

Last updated 11 July 2023

If you are changing, pausing, closing, selling or winding up a business, you should:

  • Check whether your state or territory government has any special requirements.
  • Check you have met all lodgment, reporting and payment obligations with any government agencies you have dealt with.
  • Work with your tax adviser or an insolvency practitioner early on to minimise risk for your exit strategy or succession plan, and see what you need to do from a tax and super perspective, including
    • seeking advice from a registered professional, particularly if you may need to wind up your company
    • being wary of advisers who encourage you to engage in inappropriate or even illegal activity, such as illegal phoenix activity.
  • Check and update authorisations for your business in Relationship Authorisation ManagerExternal Link and permissions for your staff in Access Manager.
  • Check whether you need to pay goods and services tax (GST) or capital gains tax (CGT) on business assets you sell and cancel your GST registration.
  • Work out and pay final pay and entitlements to your workers.
  • Lodge final returns and reports and pay final PAYG instalments, tax and loans.
  • Keep business records of all transactions (including records related to selling or closing your business) for at least 5 years.

For more information:

If you registered a business but haven’t started

If you have registered a business but didn't start the business, and have now decided that you will not operate, you must cancel your ABNExternal Link.

If you have started a business and have made a loss, you need to lodge a tax return before you cancel your ABN.

If you start running your business again, you'll need to apply for an ABN online at Australian Business RegisterExternal Link. In most cases if your business structure hasn’t changed, we’ll register you with the same ABN.