Access this booklet in a pdf format (PDF, 505KB).
Eligible government agencies can get 24/7 access to:
Access to ABR data can make it easier for you to achieve your program goals. Common uses of the data include:
Over 500 government agencies can access the full range of ABR data.
In 2014-15 approximately 700,000 ABNs were registered.
Every 39 seconds a new business is registered.
You can rely on ABR information because we:
For convenience, you can look up the status of an ABN before doing business.
ABN Lookup service is in the top 10 ‘most visited’ government websites in Australia. Over 500 million business searches will be made in 2016.
There are three simple steps:
1. Talk to us about how your agency wants to use ABR data.
2. Submit a terms and conditions form, signed by your agency head.
3. Choose how you would like to access the ABR information – ABR Explorer, ABR data extract, ABR web services.
An ABN gives you access to a range of public and non-public data.
A unique 11 digit identifier issued to entities registered in the ABR
Active or cancelled – the date the ABN was registered or cancelled.
The name of the entity that appears on official documents or legal papers
A description of the entity – for example, partnership, sole trader, company
Goods and services tax (GST) status
The date the GST registration became effective or was cancelled
Main business location
The state/territory and postcode of the main business location
Registered business names
The registered business names for the entity
Tax concessions for charities and funds, Deductible gift recipient (DGR) statusand ACNC
Includes the charity or fund type, the type of concession and the date when it became active or inactive
Includes the DGR fund name and the date when the DGR status became active or inactive
A DGR is a fund or organisation that can receive tax deductible gift recipients
The Australian Company Number (ACN), the Australian Registered Body Number (ARBN), or the Australian Registered Scheme Number (ARSN)
Returned mail indicator
An indicator to advise addresses of entities whose mail has been returned as unclaimed or undeliverable
Authorised contact details
The details of persons authorised to act on behalf of the business in the ABR
Service of notice address
The Australian postal address for the entity
Delivery Point Identifier is a unique barcode assigned to most street addresses in Australia
The barcode allows sorting machines within Australia Post to quickly and accurately read addresses on envelopes
The main business (street) address within Australia
Latitude and longitude
Coordinates that indicate the geographical location
The smallest geographical area as defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics
Mesh blocks were designed with standard criteria and assist with comparing areas
Branch/office location details
Industry codeand description
The type of industry the business or organisation operates in, as described by the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industry Classification (ANZSIC)
Names of associates – for example, public officers, directors, partners or trustees – associated with the entity
The email address and phone numbers (including Australian mobile number)
Sutherland Shire Council used ABR data to stimulate economic growth and create jobs.
The council used email addresses to survey home-based businesses about their needs and to ensure they were getting the help they needed to grow and succeed.
The council said email provided a low cost option for dealing with clients and allowed recipients to respond easily and quickly.
Through the survey, business owners could choose the support and services they needed to help take their business to the next level including workshops, seminars and coaching sessions.
Auburn City Council used ABR data to scope and target transport for disadvantaged workers in the region.
Using industry codes and address details, the council approached large employers operating multiple work shifts in the most disadvantaged areas, to gauge the possible need for transport assistance amongst their employees.
Concurrently, Auburn used the data to identify potential project partners – both within the transport industry and from licensed clubs or sports and recreation clubs where privately-owned minibuses may be available during club downtimes.
ABR data has helped many local government agencies deliver better community services and support businesses to grow and succeed.
Having ABNs embedded into your systems and processes makes it easier for you to identify businesses.
Bass Coast Shire Council in Victoria used ABR data to identify and contact over 1,000 agricultural businesses in the area, to survey their views about rural land use including agricultural tourism, food production and protection of natural assets.
The responses were used to develop a rural land use strategy for the shire that supported long-term economic and social changes consistent with government policies and plans.
The council said ABR data provided an extra layer of information about businesses, allowing them to establish the numbers and types of business by industry segments.
The Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (DPIF) Northern Territory used ABR data to help contain an outbreak of a fungal disease which was threatening the NT banana industry.
ABR industry coding and location data allowed DPIF to determine the scope of the problem and identify and contact businesses connected with the banana industry. These actions ensured the disease did not spread to larger commercial banana growing regions in Australia.
By enabling you to identify business types, ABR data can be used to assist development of land use strategies.
When bushfires hit Sampson Flat in South Australia in January 2015, the Registrar provided data to government agencies to support their disaster response and recovery efforts. ABR information was used across all levels of government to provide intelligence about the businesses in and around the disaster area.
At the height of the response, the South Australian Country Fire Services (CFS) used ABR data for risk analysis to identify and map businesses in the areas around the fire front that may have hazardous materials.
Emergency Management Australia also used the data to help identify the industries likely to be impacted by bushfires within the affected areas.
Inspectors from the New South Wales Office of Industrial Relations (OIR) have an extensive program of workplace visits they conduct across the state every year.
OIR inspectors use ABR information in planning their visits. They identify specific types of businesses within an area by combining industry coding data with business addresses.
OIR inspectors can request an up-to-date list of businesses in a region, suburb or street, allowing them to plan their programs more effectively. They also use the GST registration date to identify new businesses for field inspections. Businesses registering for GST are more likely to be active and, if their turnover is greater than $75,000, they are more likely to be employing staff.
About six million addresses or 85% of ABR data has been geocoded.
Centrelink have streamlined the way customers report income through their automated reporting service by using their ABN as their key business identifier.
Centrelink's Interactive Voice Response (IVR) service asks the customer a series of questions about their employment income including the name of their employer.
If the employer is not listed against the customer’s record:
If correct, the employer is added to the customer’s record for the next fortnight.
Centrelink said the IVR service automates the reports of more than 100,000 callers per fortnight, which makes it the most used of all Centrelink’s self-help services.
The Queensland Department of Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games (DTESB) manages the Business and Industry Portal (BIP) as a franchise of the Queensland Government’s One Stop Shop Strategy.
DTESB are using ABR data to support its interaction with businesses. This includes using ABR data to identify small businesses and provide access to services to support growth and improve productivity.
To find out more:
© Australian Taxation Office for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2016
You are free to copy, adapt, modify, transmit and distribute this material as you wish (but not in any way that suggests the Australian Taxation Office or the Australian Government endorses you or any of your services or products).
Published by ABR, Canberra. April 2016 / JS36684D