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Keeping ABN details up to date

You can do a few things to help keep your clients' ABN details up to date and reduce unnecessary contact from us.

Last updated 14 February 2021

We find that Australian business number (ABN) holders sometimes forget to update their ABN details in the Australian Business Register (ABR) when their circumstances or details change. While it's your client's responsibility to keep their ABN details up to date, a helpful nudge from you will ensure:

  • the right people have the right permissions to act on behalf of a business
  • government agencies have current information, for example, if emergency services need to contact businesses during natural disasters
  • businesses are ready for new government services when they become available.

Your clients’ ABN details will be most effective if they also list their own address and business details, not just your address as their representative. This allows ABN holders to be located and contacted quickly with direct updates, critical information and financial support in times of emergency or natural disaster.

Details must be updated with the Australian Business Register (ABR) within 28 days of becoming aware of changes.

By keeping your clients' ABN details up to date you can reduce unnecessary contact from us.

Next step:

Check ABNs are still in use

Some ABNs are no longer needed.

If your client's business is no longer operating, cancel their ABNExternal Link. If their business structure has changedExternal Link, the old structure's ABN may need to be cancelled before you apply for a new one.

You can help us make sure that only those people who are entitled to an ABN can apply, receive and keep using an ABN.

If your client is a sole trader and their ABN is in use, they will need to lodge an income tax return. There is no tax-free threshold for sole traders with an ABN and they will need to report all business income greater than $1.

If your client's ABN is cancelled and they need it later, you can reapply for the same ABN if the business structure remains the same.

See also:

  • Income and deductions 

Using the ABR Tax professional's service

Log in with your myGovID to the ABR Tax professional's service when you need to apply, update or cancel an ABN.

By using this service, the ABR recognises your role as a tax or BAS agent and doesn't need to check as many details in your client's application. They will also send you less educational material about an ABN.

See also: