Applying for an ABN – How to apply ABN

You can register a business name at the same time as your ABN application if you use the Business Registration Service. If you don’t, you’ll need to go back to the Business Registration Service to register your business name.

Make sure you understand the difference between your ABN and your registered business name. Find more information on our register a business name page.

What you need for your ABN application

Before applying for an ABN, you need to have decided on the right structureExternal link for your business eg sole trader or company.

To complete your ABN application – depending on your circumstances – you’ll need your:

  • tax file number (TFN) and the TFNs of any associates – eg partners, directors and trustees.
  • tax agent registration number
  • professional advisor number – if you’re using the services of a professional advisor, you can provide their licence number eg Australian Financial Services licence (AFS licence)
  • previously held ABN
  • Australian company number (ACN) or Australian registered body number (ARBN). Companies and registrable organisations can register for an ACN or ARBN through the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
  • date your ABN is required. This should be the date that you expect to start any business activities – eg buying stock. This date can’t be more than six months in the future when you apply
  • entity legal name – appears on all official documents or legal papers
  • authorised contacts – eg the applicant or tax agent. They must be authorised to make changes or update information on behalf of the entity
  • associates’ details – associate requirements are different for each entity type
  • business contact details including an address, postal address, email address and telephone number. Your email address must meet requirements such as; being between 5 – 200 characters, contain no spaces and not start with “support@”, “Sales@” or “info@”
  • business activity – usually the main source of income for your enterprise eg agriculture, construction, investment and manufacturing. Self-managed super funds may not be carrying on a business and therefore might not have a main business activity
  • business locations – provide business locations for all premises operated by your enterprise, unless there’s a risk to safety of individuals as a result of the disclose eg a women’s refuge.

Useful Link

Australia business register

Australia Government – Business

Australia Tax Office

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