When applying for an Australian business number (ABN) online you will be asked to provide details about your situation, activities, business structure (entity type) and identity. Your answers will help determine if you are entitled to an ABN.
Although everybody can apply, only those who are entitled will get an ABN. If you are not entitled but still apply, your ABN application will be refused.
Apprentices, trade assistants, labourers and other types of employees are not entitled to an ABN. Find out how the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) distinguishes between an employee and a contractorExternal Link for tax purposes.
You must be able to demonstrate that your business structure is in place.
Possible business structures:
Find out more
Read more about choosing your business structureExternal Link on the Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO) website.
An enterprise includes activities done in the form of a business. While there is no single test to determine if you are carrying on an enterprise, the following indicators may help you understand if your activities are done in the form of a business:
Read more about determining whether you are operating a businessExternal Link on the ATO’s website.
Commencement activities could include:
If you get an ABN you must continue to meet the entitlement requirements. If your business situation changes you may no longer be entitled.
Read the ATO’s Miscellaneous Taxation Ruling MT 2006/1External Link for specific information for your business structure and examples of entitlement.
If your business or organisation is located outside of Australia but is carrying on an enterprise in Australia or in the course of carrying on an enterprise makes supplies connected with the indirect tax zone you may be entitled to an ABN.
If you think your business or organisation is entitled to an ABN find out how to apply for an ABNExternal Link.
Complete the questionnaire to see if you are entitled to an ABN:
Check ABN Entitlement
‘Indirect tax zone’ means Australia but does not include the external territories and certain offshore areas. The goods and services tax (GST), the wine equalisation tax (WET) and the luxury car tax (LCT) operate in the indirect tax zone. The GST, WET and LCT do not operate in Australian external territories and in certain offshore areas.
Further information about this term can be found in GSTR 2000/31 Goods and services tax: supplies connected with Australia and GSTR 2006/9 Goods and services tax: supplies.