Not everyone is entitled to an ABN.
You're entitled to an ABN if you're:
An enterprise includes activities done in the form of a business, as well as some other activities, including:
There is no single test to determine if you're carrying on a business. Features of a business include:
If your business or other enterprise isn't yet underway, you'll need to have undertaken commencement activities such as:
While you don't need to have undertaken all of these commencement activities, you would be expected to have undertaken at least some of them.
You're not entitled to an ABN for work that you carry out as an employee – including as an apprentice, trade assistant or labourer – even if you or your employer calls it contracting. An employer shouldn't ask you to get an ABN as a condition of employment.
While renting out an investment property may constitute an enterprise, renting out a residential property doesn't generally give rise to GST or pay as you go withholding obligations, so residential property investors may not need an ABN.
If your business or organisation is located outside Australia, you may be entitled to an ABN if you are carrying on an enterprise:
Before applying for an ABN, a superannuation entity (for example APRA regulated funds, ATO regulated self-managed super funds) must be set up correctly.