• ABN explained

    An Australian business number (ABN) is free when you register with the Australian Business Register (ABR).

    The ABN is a unique 11 digit number that identifies your business or organisation to the government and community. Once registered, your ABN details are stored in the ABR.

    ABNs are for business

    If you're starting a new business you may need an Australian business number (ABN). Not everyone is entitled to an ABN, so the registration process will ask specific questions to determine your entitlement to an ABN.An ABN comes with its own set of obligations. You may be required to:

    • register for goods and services tax
    • lodge activity statements to us
    • register for PAYG withholding and meet your super obligations for eligible employees
    • meet other federal, state and territory regulatory obligations such as payroll tax, worker’s compensation, and operating licences.

    Once you have your ABN, you can deal with us online by connecting your ABN to your myGov account or through the Business Portal using your AUSkey. You can register for your ABN, AUSkey and any tax registrations at the same time through the Australian Business Register (ABR) website.

    You will need to notify us within 28 days if you update your ABN details, such as:

    • add or cancel a registration – for example, you must register for PAYG withholding if you start employing people
    • change your business details, like the address or authorised contact person
    • cease operating your business – you are required to cancel your ABN and any tax registrations
      • you must finalise all of your business obligations, including lodging any reports and tax returns, paying tax debts and finalising your activity statements.

    Benefits for business

    Government uses ABN information to build a better understanding of business demographics in your local area.

    This helps to guide service delivery, plan and manage infrastructure and provide disaster recovery for you and your community.

    Next Steps:

  • Last modified: 24 Apr 2018QC 182