FAQ

What’s an ABN and why you might need one?

An ABN (Australia Business Number) consists of 11 digit numbers that are unique for each business registered and provides an identification for your business or organization. It can also be used for business and tax purposes such as:

  • invoicing and ordering supplies/products
  • avoiding the PAYG tax on payments you receive
  • claim GST and energy credits
  • obtain an Australian domain name.

Who is eligible/entitled to obtain an ABN?

You are eligible for an ABN if you are:

  • carrying on (meaning) or starting an enterprise
  • a company operating outside of Australia’s indirect tax zone
  • a company registered with the ASIC
  • a not for profit organization
  • a group of individuals with a common hobby such as a sporting club or society group.

What’s the difference between applying through the government or through us?

We can make the process of applying for an ABN easier by combining the daunting pile of forms into one and we will help guide you through the application. Especially when you want to make multiple registrations, the government application can be a hassle as it does not provide the support to go through the forms as well as making you go through a number of forms.

What will I need to apply? What information do I need to register for an ABN?

An ABN (Australia Business Number) consists of 11-digit numbers that are unique for each business registered and provides an identification for your business or organization. It can also be used for business and tax purposes such as:

  • invoicing and ordering supplies/products
  • avoiding the PAYG tax on payments you receive
  • claim GST and energy credits
  • obtain an Australian domain name.

How long does ABN registration take?

It does not take too long for you to receive your ABN (11 digit numbers) when you submit the application with your tax file number (Tax File Number can help identity you faster).

However, if you do not have a tax file number, you can still apply for an ABN. Just make sure you record your reference number when you receive your ABN to use later for tax and business purposes.

How long does it take to register a Business Name?

If you have an ABN or in the process of obtaining one, registering for a business name should only take a couple of days as the ASIC will need to verify the business name as clarify that it has not been taken yet.

Who must report for GST?

When you have an ABN, you will have access to the GST credits that are applied.

Does each individual business need its own ABN?

Each ABN can have multiple businesses. But you cannot have multiple ABNs under one business as it will not serve its purpose of identifying the business.

Reactivation of old ABNs?

Reactivating old ABNs are possible if you can provide the right information such as personal details and business details. However, the process of obtaining will be a bit slower as the government officials need to re-evaluate the use of the numbers before it can be used again.

Researching details of an ABN number?

On the Australian Business Register (www.abr.gov.au), it shows the record of businesses and organisations. It is can validate business information for the community as well as the government.

Is my business name available?

You can check on the ASIC website for business name availability. All businesses and companies will be registered on the official government website.

Does registering a business name also trademark the name?

No, registering a business name does not trademark the name. It is best to check if the name of your business has been trademarked or it could land you into legal problems.

Can I register more than one business name?

Yes, you can have multiple business names under one ABN as the government prefers it that way too.

Are certain names restricted by ASIC for use as business names?

The following are restricted by ASIC if the business name:

  • is offensive or has offensive meaning (including illegal activities)
  • is a trademark or registered company (includes pronunciation and spelling of the company)
  • implies a false connection to the royal family, government or ex-serviceman’s association
  • requires approval from a government agency or Minister such as University Trust, Building Society, Chartered, etc.

Can I change my business name at a later stage?

No but you may register a different business name under the same ABN or create a new registration.

Can I update my business name details through my account, for e.g. business address, email, phone number?

No, you must do contact the ASIC in order to change any details.

I lost my ABN; how do I find it again?

Usually, the ABN is found in your tax invoices or official documents sent by the government to the business. ABN Lookup is an online tool provided by the government, free of use to search your name or business name and obtain your ABN.