• Australian Business Register

    A rich source of business data

    The Australian Business Register (ABR) is a comprehensive database of identity information provided by businesses when they register for an Australian Business Number (ABN).

    It presents an opportunity for government agencies to better understand business and to use the information to develop strategies that better meet business needs and achieve policy objectives.

    ABR data also plays an integral role in the national and state taxation systems, the superannuation system, the planning and delivery of government support and infrastructure for business, as well as business-to-business confidence.

    Streamline service delivery across all levels of government

    Government service delivery benefits from the effective and judicious use of ABR data.

    It enables agencies to improve services by tailoring service delivery based on the individual needs of business and communities.

    The ABR offers government agencies a free and reliable resource to conduct compliance activities, improve service delivery, plan local infrastructure and promote economic development.

    Support disaster response and recovery planning

    ABR data can provide agencies with a better understanding of businesses in disaster-affected areas. The ABR works with agencies to develop a streamlined process for the provision of data when disasters occur; making sure the right data gets to the right people at the right time.

    The data held by Australian Government agencies has long been recognised as a government and national asset.

    The potential growth in this data, due to the adoption of new technologies as well as the production of an increasing amount of both structured and unstructured data outside of government, suggest that big data analytics can increase the value of this asset to government and the Australian people 1.

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    Plan and execute new infrastructure and economic development

    ABR data assists in identifying changes in business growth and establishing future strategic plans to meet the needs of community growth and change.

    It can help in identifying and analysing business and industry segmentation, conducting business surveys, identifying and supporting new businesses, mapping business locations to identify industry clusters, and creating statistical reports of businesses in a region, using charts, summaries and maps.

    Simplifying interactions with business

    Agencies can improve efficiencies by embedding the Australian Business Number (ABN) into systems and processes, making it easier for businesses to identify themselves and interact with the agency.

    As the ABR stores business identity details, agencies can take a feed directly from the ABR, rather than having to store and maintain this data themselves.

    ABR data can also assist agencies with procurement – validating supplier’s ABNs, identifying local suppliers and trades people for council initiatives and conflicts of interest checks. It also assists with compliance activities through the validation of business details, risk profiling, work planning and site visits.


    As a unique trusted identifier, the ABN accurately identifies businesses in their dealings with government.

    Using the online ABN Lookup facility, businesses and consumers can verify the identity of organisations they deal with, including their goods and services (GST) status and, in the case of charities and not-for-profits, their government-endorsed status.

    The publicly available data, searchable online using ABN Lookup, includes entity name, ABN, GST status and in the case of charities and not-for-profits, their government-endorsed status.

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    Find out more

    You can find out more about the ABR by visiting abr.gov.au

    Businesses can access ABN Lookup by visiting abr.business.gov.auExternal Link

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    1 The Australian Public Service Big Data Strategy, Department of Finance and Deregulation, Australian Government Information Office, August 2013
    • Last modified: 13 Nov 2014QC 842