• Applying for AUSkey, GST, PAYG and business names

    As part of the Australian business number (ABN) application you can apply for other business registrations. Applying for other registrations at the same time as your ABN will save you time as some information will be pre-filled for you.

    Depending on the status of your ABN application and your entity type, you will be presented with different registration options.

    If your application was refused you will not be able to continue to apply for other business registrations.

    If you decide to apply for other business registrations at a later stage, or if you already have an ABN, you need to register directly with the relevant government agency.

    AUSkey

    AUSkey is a secure login that identifies you when you use participating government online services on behalf of a business.

    You will only be able to register for the first administrator AUSkey if you are listed as an eligible associate of the ABN.

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    Goods and services tax

    Goods and services tax (GST) is a broad-based tax of 10% on most goods, services and other items sold or consumed in the indirect tax zone.

    You must register for GST if:

    • you run a business or other enterprise and your GST turnover is $75,000 or more (for non-profit organisations the threshold is $150,000 or more)
    • you are a taxi driver, regardless of your turnover.

    If you run a business or other enterprise and your GST turnover is less than $75,000, registering for GST is optional.

    You may also be eligible to register for Fuel Tax CreditsExternal Link (FTC).

    Although not mandatory, you will be asked for banking details for your business when applying for GST at the same time as your ABN.

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    Pay as you go withholding

    Pay as you go (PAYG) withholding is a system for withholding amounts from payments you make to employees and businesses so they can meet their end-of-year tax liabilities.

    You will have withholding obligations if you:

    • have employees
    • have other workers such as contractors, and you enter into voluntary agreements to withhold amounts from payments you make to them
    • make payments to businesses that do not quote their ABN.

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    Business name

    To register for a business nameExternal Link, you need an ABN.

    If you do not apply for your business name at the time you register for an ABN, you need to complete your registration directly through the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

    You will only be able to register your business name during the ABN application if you are an individual/sole trader or an entity with an Australian Company Name (ACN) or an Australian Registered Body Number (ARBN).

    You should register a business name if you carry on a business or trade within Australia and you are not trading under your own entity or legal name.

    The following entities do not need to register a business name:

    • an individual where the business name is the individual’s first and last name
    • a registered companyExternal Link where the business name is the company’s name
    • a partnership where the business name consists of all of the partners’ names.

    Note: Business names are not to be confused with the term 'trading name'.

    If you are still using a trading name please register a corresponding business name, as trading names will not be displayed in ABN LookupExternal Link starting November 2018.

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    Defining the term 'Indirect tax zone'

    Indirect tax zone refers to 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.

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    • Last modified: 08 Aug 2017QC 322