Table of Content

ABN - Australian Business Number

The ABN, which stands for Australian Business Number, is a one-of-a-kind identifier issued to every business entity operating within Australia.

The Australian Business Number (ABN) is an 11-digit identifier issued by the Australian government to businesses, non-profits, and other entities. It is essential for conducting business in Australia, enabling interactions with the government and other businesses, allowing registration for Goods and Services Tax (GST), and providing a way to verify legitimacy through the ABN Lookup. Obtaining an ABN is a simple process that can be done online through the Australian Business Register (ABR).

How to Get an ABN

Getting an Australian Business Number (ABN) is a crucial first step for new businesses in Australia. This 11-digit identifier is essential for interacting with the government, other businesses, and registering for Goods and Services Tax (GST).

The Application Process

The ABN application is simple and free, completed online through the Australian Business Register (ABR). Approval is instant, and your ABN is issued immediately. However, accurate information is crucial, as the ABN Lookup, a public tool for verifying business legitimacy, relies on it.

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for an ABN, you must be conducting a business in Australia or providing goods or services connected to Australia’s indirect tax zone. This includes a wide range of entities, from sole traders and partnerships to non-profit organizations and government bodies. Note that having an ABN does not automatically confer company status or legal protections; it’s simply a unique identifier.

Required Information

When applying, be prepared to provide details like your business’s legal name, structure, primary business activities, and physical location. You’ll also need to provide information about associates like partners or directors. Ensure accuracy, as this information will be publicly available in the ABN Lookup.

Using Your ABN

After obtaining your ABN, it’s important to use it correctly. Include it on invoices and other business documents, especially if you’re registered for GST. It also plays a role in interactions with the government, such as applying for grants or lodging tax returns.


An ABN is a prerequisite for registering for GST, which allows you to claim back the GST you pay on business expenses. This can have a substantial financial impact on your business, so it’s an important consideration.

Maintaining and Updating Your ABN

Once you have an ABN, ensure you keep your business details updated on the ABN Lookup. This includes changes to your legal name, business structure, activities, or location. You can also cancel your ABN if your business ceases to operate, but this is irreversible.

The Importance of an ABN

The ABN is more than just a number; it’s a symbol of your business’s legitimacy and professionalism in the Australian market. It opens doors to opportunities, streamlines interactions, and simplifies tax obligations. Make sure your business gets one if eligible.