• ABR data quality declaration


    The Australian business register (ABR) data quality declaration is a formal statement about the integrity of the data available through the ABR.

    The declaration has been written based on Australian Bureau of Statistics guidelinesExternal Linkand outlines under what authority ABR data is collected, how it is distributed and updated, and its accuracy.

    ABR institutional environment

    The Australian Business Register (ABR) is a comprehensive database of identity information provided by businesses and other organisations when they register for an Australian business number (ABN). The ABR’s goal is to assist business and government agencies to interact with each other.

    The ABR is established under A New Tax SystemExternal Link (Australian Business Number) Act 1999 (ABN Act).

    The Report of the Australian Business Registrar 2012-13 provides information regarding the legislative obligations, governance, financing and reporting framework of the ABR.


    Information is stored in the ABR as public and non-public data.

    Business and members of the community can use public data to verify the identity of organisations they deal with, including their goods and services tax (GST) status and their government-endorsed status, in the case of charities and non-profit organisations.

    Government agencies can access more detailed non-public data to assist with planning and decision making in their jurisdictions.

    The data consists of business identity information including:

    • ABN
    • entity type
    • legal name
    • business location, including multi-location address details
    • Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC)
    • authorised contact details
    • ABN and goods and services tax (GST) dates of effect.

    The data can also be used to assist with measuring economic activity and compiling economic statistics.


    Updates to Australian business number (ABN) records are processed within 24 hours of receipt.

    Some exceptions apply:

    • updates to associate data occur on a fortnightly basis
    • Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) updates to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) of company name changes occur 5 nights a week.

    Data is refreshed in the data delivery tools as described:

    • Bulk data delivery occurs weekly and is date stamped at time of production
    • DVD data delivery is date stamped at time of production
    • ABN lookup (public data only) is refreshed hourly.


    The ABR uses the following standards

    • Industry in accordance with the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANSZIC), 2006 edition
    • Australian Standard 4590-2006, Interchange of Client Information for state and territory and sub-state geography, postal code and address validation.

    The ABR validates the data by incorporating reviews conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) for industry coding.

    Controls are in place to ensure the uniqueness of an ABN to an entity:

    • when an ABN is cancelled, details of the entity are not deleted from the ABR.
    • entities applying for an ABN are required to provide true and correct information
    • entities are obliged to notify the Registrar of changes to any information that is recorded in the ABR within 28 days of becoming aware of the changes
    • penalties may apply for making a false or misleading statement.

    The ABR also conducts surveys to measure the use of ABNs, the currency and accuracy of key data fields and the understanding of ABN holders about their obligation to keep their information up-to-date.


    The Report of the Australian Business Registrar 2012-13 provides comparative yearly statistics on trends in ABN registrations.

    ABR data can change regularly, depending on changes in ABN details. The ABR is updated when ABN holders notify the Registrar of any change of details.

    ABR data includes data received from other government agencies including:

    • ABN individual/sole trader and associates proof of identity identifier (ATO)
    • GST registration, cancellation and verification data and Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) registration, cancellation and verification data (ATO)
    • company verification data, for example, legal name of ASIC entity (ASIC)
    • business name (ASIC).


    There is supporting information to assist with interpreting the data.

    Agencies will receive the Guide to accessing ABR data via the data transfer facility when they sign the ABR Terms and conditions.

    The Guide to accessing your ABR data disc is sent to agencies when they order data on a DVD.

    The ABR data dictionary uses the Standard Business Reporting (SBR) definitional taxonomyExternal Link and contains definitions of the data terms used in the data files agencies can download.

    ABR data structure:

    • the ABR is a database of business identity information using the ABN as the identifier
    • an ABN may have more than 1 associate
    • an ABN may have more than 1 business location.


    Public data is available to everyone on ABN Lookup. Access to non-public data requires eligible government agencies to sign a Terms and conditions with the ABR.

    Further information

    Read more about how to access ABR data.

    End of further information
    • Last modified: 19 Oct 2016QC 562