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5 Min. Read

How to Apply for an ABN (Australian Business Number): A Guide

How to Apply for an ABN (Australian Business Number): A Guide

Have you ever wondered how to get an ABN? If you’re starting a business in Australia, it’s important to know all the ins and outs of getting your ABN. This article will explain everything you need to know about applying for an ABN. It covers what an ABN is, who needs one, and how much it costs. Plus, It will answer some of the most common questions people have when they apply for their first ABN. If you want to learn more about getting your own Australian Business Number (ABN), keep reading!

Here’s What We’ll Cover:

What Is an Australian Business Number?

Who Needs an ABN?

How to Apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN)

How Long Does It Take to Get an ABN?

What Happens If My Business Details Change?

What to Do if I’m Not Able to Get an Australian Business Number (ABN)

Key Takeaways

What Is an Australian Business Number?

An ABN is a unique, 11 digit number assigned to every business in Australia. The Australian Government refers to an ABN as “your identification number for tax and super purposes.” It isn’t the same thing as your company registration number (also called an ACN). Your ACN identifies you specifically, while your ABN works as a group identifier for all your business entities.

ABNs are used as a way to identify your business for many government and tax purposes, including:

  • Paying the right amount of tax
  • Claiming business expenses on your taxes
  • Applying for an Australian Company Number (ACN)

Who Needs an ABN?

Anyone who is conducting business in Australia must have an ABN. This includes both physical and non-physical businesses; Even sole traders and freelancers need an ABN! You might not think you’re doing any type of business, but it’s always better to register early. This will save you money and time in the long run.

How to Apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN)

You can apply for your own ABN by completing an online form on the Australian Business Register (ABR). The process takes around 15 minutes. It’s important to make sure all the information you entered is correct, especially your business name. The ABR will check it against their “Not-For-Profit database.” This is to make sure it doesn’t match any registered not for profits that are currently operating in Australia. If you find your name already belongs to another not for profit, you may have to choose a different one.

When applying for an ABN it’s important to start this process as early as possible. If you are close to the date where your registration is due, you might want to complete the application part way through the month. The ABR will charge you extra if you apply for an ABN towards the end of the month.

Here are a few more tips about applying for your ABN:

  • You must be an Australian resident.
  • Your company can be based anywhere in the world, but if it’s not in Australia, you will need someone to act as your representative.
  • You can apply for an ABN even if you don’t have a company name yet.
  • The application fee is $100 plus GST. That’s about $110.

How Long Does It Take to Get an ABN?

Applying for an ABN is a pretty simple process, but it’s not instant. Expect to wait about 10 days from the time you submit your application to the time your ABN is ready.

Your Australian Business Number (ABN) will be valid for either 4 or 5 years. You can choose how long it should last when you apply.

What Happens If My Business Details Change?

It’s important to keep your ABN details up to date. If you change your company name, your representative or any of the information on your application, you will need to update it with the ABR. This is so that they can correctly identify you as an organization and so that they don’t send anything important to the wrong company.

You can change your ABN details by filling out another online form and submitting it to the ABR. There may be fees associated with this change.

What to Do if I’m Not Able to Get an Australian Business Number (ABN)

Unfortunately there isn’t much you can do if you aren’t able to get an ABN. It will be near impossible for you to operate a business in Australia without one. If your reason for not getting an ABN is because your name was taken by another company, you may want to consider changing your name.

If you need help getting an ABN or with any other aspect of starting a business in Australia, contact the Australian Business Register.

Key Takeaways

If you are a business owner with an Australian company, then this guide is for you! This article will provide some helpful tips on how to get your ABN. You can apply yourself or have someone act as your representative if the company isn't in Australia. The application fee is about $100. If you're applying during the month of December, be sure to register before the 30th so that you don’t pay more than necessary!

Hopefully this article helps you understand what ABNs are and how you can get one for your business.

If you’re looking for more information like this, visit our resource hub!


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