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 Australia 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:
Individuals must be carrying on an enterprise in Australia to be entitled to an ABN.
A partnership must be carrying on an enterprise in Australia to be entitled to an ABN.
A company must be carrying on an enterprise in Australia to be entitled to an ABN.
A trust must be carrying on an enterprise in Australia and have three essential elements to be entitled to an ABN.
A superannuation entity must be set up properly with the relevant authority to be entitled to an ABN.
One of the things a deceased estate must be doing in order to be entitled to an ABN, is carrying on an enterprise of the deceased in order to finalise the affairs of the estate.