• Proving your identity

    When you deal with the Australian Business Register (ABR) you may be asked for proof of identity (POI) information. Proving your identity allows us to confirm who you are and helps prevent identity theft.

    You will be asked to prove your identity when you:

    • apply for an Australian business number (ABN) - the Registrar of the ABR has a duty of care to the Australian public and Government to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of information on the ABR. The A New Tax System (Australian Business Number) Act 1999External Link states that the Registrar must be satisfied that your identity and the identity of associates have been established before an ABN is issued.
    • contact the ABR or when the ABR contacts you
    • apply for a tax file number (TFN) for business
    • register for an AUSkey
    • contact AUSkey.

    The POI information provided in your ABN application will be validated against other sources; for example, Australian Taxation Office (ATO) tax records and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

    How to prove your identity

    The easiest and fastest way to prove your identity is with your valid TFN. The ABR is authorised to ask you for your valid TFN; however, you are not legally required to provide it.

    If you do not provide your valid TFN or if we cannot identify you, further proof may be required. Information or certified copies of documents you may be asked to provide include:

    • your date of birth
    • your telephone number, business, residential, postal or email address
    • your bank account number
    • birth certificate
    • Certificate of Incorporation
    • independent certification of business
    • passport
    • driver’s licence.

    Note: If you are a resident applying for an ABN and these details do not match, the application will be refused.

    If you are a non-resident applying for an ABN and these details do not match, the application will be delayed or in some instances refused. You will receive a reference number after the application is submitted. You should quote this reference number when you send us your documents or if you need to contact us. This reference number will help us identify your application. If you lose this reference number we may not be able to help you, and you may need to lodge a new application.

    If you are a non-resident of Australia you will need to send:

    You should send these documents by the due date specified at the end of your application.

    By post:

    Non-resident registrations team
    GPO Box 9977
    HOBART  TAS  7001 AUSTRALIA

    By courier:

    Non-resident registrations team
    913 Whitehorse Road
    Box Hill VIC 3128 AUSTRALIA

    Note: Your ABN application will be refused if you do not provide these documents within 43 days of submitting your application. If your ABN application is refused you will be advised by letter.

    Contacting the ABR on behalf of a non-resident client.

    If you need to discuss your application with us:

    Calling within Australia

    1. call 1300 146 094 between 8:00am and 6:00pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) or Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT), Monday to Friday
    2. wait until you hear instructions to enter the three digit call-back code
    3. enter the call-back code 118 and '#'.

    Calling from outside Australia

    1. call +61 2 6216 1111 between 8:00am and 5:00pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) or Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT), Monday to Friday
    2. ask for 1300 146 094
    3. wait until you hear instructions to enter the three digit call-back code
    4. enter the call-back code 118 and ‘#’.

    Find out more:

    To find out what we do with personal information we collect, read our privacy statementExternal Link.

    For more information about proof of identity,visit the Australian Taxation Office website.

    Non-residents will need to supply different proof of identityExternal Link documents.

    • Last modified: 09 Aug 2016QC 392