• Company

    Corporations Act company

    Companies incorporated under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) in Australia and registered as a company with the Australian Securities Investments Commission (ASIC)External Link are entitled to an ABN.

    Co-operative

    A co-operative is entitled to an ABN if it is carrying on an enterprise and registered with the relevant state or territory authority.

    A co-operative is a member-owned organisation that operates for the benefit of its members who share in the group’s investment and operational risks, benefits and losses. A co-operative is a legal entity separate from its individual members. It can hold property, sue and be sued in its own name.

    Incorporated entity

    For ABN purposes, an incorporated entity can be:

    • an incorporated association
    • a foreign company
    • a body corporate
    • a corporation sole.

    These entities are entitled to an ABN if they are carrying on an enterprise and the following apply:

    • An incorporated association registered with the relevant state or territory authority.
      An incorporated association is a legal entity separate from its individual members. It can hold property, sue and be sued. Associations are incorporated under state and territory associations incorporation legislation. Incorporating an association in a state or territory restricts the organisation to operating in that state or territory.
    • A foreign company wishing to carry on business in Australia must be registered with ASIC under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and have received an Australian Registered Body Number (ARBN).
    • A body corporate established under common law, an Act of Parliament or registered under statute.
      A body corporate is a legal entity that is separate from its individual members. It has the power to act, hold property, enter into legal contracts, sue and be sued in its own name.
    • A corporation sole established under common law, an Act of Parliament or registered under statute.
      A corporation sole is a corporation that consists of one natural person and that person's successors to a particular position. It is a legal entity that is separate from the individual who occupies the position. The person holding the position can sue and be sued in the title of the position and can hold title to land and other property.

    Other entities entitled to an ABN

    An unincorporated entity is entitled to an ABN if it is carrying on enterprise. An unincorporated association or body of persons is a group of individuals who come together to further a common interest, without forming a legal structure. These associations usually have club-like characteristics, for example a sporting club or social club.

    A strata title is entitled to an ABN if it is carrying on an enterprise. A strata title is where a title to a piece of property is divided into a number of units. A strata title must have a strata corporation. This is the legal body that looks after and administers the land for the benefit of its members, including the maintenance of common areas.

    • Last modified: 22 Dec 2016QC 763