• Frequently asked questions

    What is ABR data?

    The Australian Business Register (ABR) manages a record of business information, including addresses, industry and contact details of businesses with an Australian business number (ABN). ABR data is reviewed and updated to maintain a high level of accuracy and integrity.

    Where can I use ABR data?

    Business details in the ABR have been used for compliance, planning and economic development, service delivery and disaster response activities.

    How can I access ABR data?

    ABR data (public or non-public) is available through the following channels:

    • ABN LookupExternal Link – publicly available data accessed via search by ABN, ACN or name, and/or ability to arrange bulk data through web service API
    • Data Transfer Facility – non-public data available in data files per state or at national level. Agencies need to download bulk data files and have the technology to query data and prepare reports.
    • ABR Explorer – non-public data accessed through a website tool allowing individual users to filter, query, view data and to prepare, save, export and share reports.
    • ABR web services – non-public data access allowing agencies to view ABR data in real time.

    I work in a government agency. How do I request access to ABR data?

    First check the list of partner agencies to see if your agency is included.

    If not, you will need to send an email to abrenquiries@ato.gov.au to request access.

    How do I request access to ABR Explorer?

    To access ABR Explorer

    1. Determine eligibility – check if your agency has authority to access non-public data.          
      • If yes, proceed to step 2.
      • If not, fully complete the ABR data application form. We will determine your eligibility and advise the next steps.
    2. Obtain an AUSkey – liaise with your agency AUSkey Administrator to provide you with a Standard AUSkey. If you need assistance in identifying your AUSkey Administrator, please contact us.

    Once you have an AUSkey – identify your Person ID (PID) (DOC, 23KB)This link will download a file and ABN associated with your agency.

    1. Send an email to abrenquiries@ato.gov.au including the following details         
      • the ABN associated with the agency AUSkey
      • AUSkey Person ID (PID)
      • name of user
      • position title
      • email
      • phone number.
    2. Wait for confirmation email.
    3. Log in to ABR Explorer.

    ABR web services

    How do I request access to ABR web services?

    Email abrenquiries@ato.gov.au to request access to ABR web services, and include the following information:

    • your name
    • your agency
    • state
    • contact details.

    Type 'Request Access to ABR web services' in the subject line of your email.

    Why is a password change required?

    As a security precaution, service account passwords must be updated every 365 days otherwise the service account will be disabled from use if it is not updated before it expires.

    Do I have to update my password manually?

    Yes, currently there is no automatic process to update passwords and will require you to manually change the password via the ABR access point. When the password is changed, then each service call will need to be updated with the new password to ensure continuity of service.

    Each agency is responsible for ensuring their service accounts are updated periodically and making sure they are changed within the 365 day period. This may include setting up reminders and defining internal business process to perform the password change to every instance of the web service call.

    What happens if my password expires?

    A service account's password is set to expire periodically every 365 days and it is the agency's responsibility to update it prior to the 365 days to guarantee continuity of service. If a service account's password has expired, the service account will be locked and it will disable access to the web service until the password is changed.

    To change an expired service account's password via the general ABR access point:

    The Change Password screen will be displayed.

    • Follow the prompts to change the password.

    How can I change my password if it has not yet expired?

    If the password you wish to change hasn't expired yet, you're still able to change the password.

    To change an unexpired service account's password via the general ABR access point:

    1. Open a web browser, preferably Internet Explorer, and enter the following URL: g2g.abr.gov.au/ABRServiceSearch/Search.asmx 
    2. Enter the service account's username and the current passwords in the fields provided and then click OK to continue.
    3. On the 'ABR Search Service' page, append the following text to the end of the URL '?ATOBASICAUTH=CHANGEPASS' then hit Enter to continue.
    4. The Change Password screen will be displayed.
    5. Follow the prompts to change the password.

    I just changed my password so why is my account locked out?

    It is known that Microsoft Internet Explorer 11 is the most suitable browser to perform a password change. A non-IE browser, such as Chrome or Firefox, may cause the service account to lock after a password change has been performed.

    To unlock your account, please send a request to ABR at abrenquiries@ato.gov.au with the subject line 'ABR web services – Request Account Unlock'.

    I am trying to change my password so why can't I use an old password?

    A new password can't be the same as the current or previous thirteen (13) passwords used for the service account.

    What is a strong password?

    A strong password must be at least nine (9) characters long and contains combinations of at least 3 of the following:

    • uppercase characters (eg A–Z)
    • lowercase characters (eg a–z)
    • numeric characters (eg 0–9)
    • special or punctuation characters (eg #, $, etc).

    Can I use ABR IdentifierSearch to update the ABR database?

    No – IdentifierSearch is a read-only web service.

    Can I make changes to the ABR IdentifierSearch Web Service?

    No – IdentifierSearch is a closed source.

    What is the difference between ABN Lookup web services and ABR IdentifierSearch?

    IdentifierSearch retrieves public and non-public ABR data for a single entity. The service retrieves either the current data in the ABR record or retrieves both current and historical data.

    ABN Lookup retrieves only public data and this can be searched by ABN, ACN and/or Business/Entity name.

    See also:

    Can I search by anything else other than the ABN in the ABR IdentifierSearch?

    Yes – the search parameters available are ABN, ACN or ARBN.

    Can I filter the results that the ABR IdentifierSearch returns?

    No – the IdentifierSearch method returns all the data in the ABR record.

    What kind of transport layer can I use?

    IdentifierSearch only works with SOAPv1.1 or SOAPv1.2; it is recommended that you use SOAPV1.2.

    I have an AUSKey, can I use it to authenticate with the ABR IdentifierSearch?

    No – IdentifierSearch only allows authenticating via SOAP with a username and password.

    From the ABR IdentifierSearch, can I extract a version of data from a point in time, for example: from last July 2015?

    The service does not return ABR data from a point in time. If the ‘history’ element is set to ‘Y’, the service will return the entire record with all the historical information.

    Can I use the ABR IdentifierSearch data for reporting purposes?

    No – ABR IdentifierSearch is a service that provides real time data for a single ABN and is not designed to provide analytics.

    If you are looking for alternative methods of obtaining data please refer to the ABR data products and services site.

    Is there any data usage limit per account for ABR IdentifierSearch?

    Currently there are no restrictions.

    How do I know if an ABN record is active when using ABR IdentifierSearch?

    If the ABN's <effectiveTo> element is set to a NULL date ('0001-01-01T00:00:00') then the record is active.

    How do I report an incident within ABR IdentifierSearch service?

    Refer to the Web service support page.

    How do I get my ABR IdentifierSearch service account verified?

    Refer to the Verify service account page.

    • Last modified: 11 Apr 2017QC 1040