How to get an ABN: A step-by-step guide for business success

How to get an abn. A guide to business success

If you’re embarking on a business venture in Australia or involved in income-generating activities, learning how to get an ABN (Australian Business Number) is generally a requirement. However, it’s important to note that the specific criteria may vary based on your unique circumstances. To navigate this, take the time to assess your situation or consider seeking guidance from a professional to ascertain whether obtaining an ABN is the right move for you.

To set your business up for success, one of the crucial steps is obtaining an Australian Business Number (ABN). An Australian Business Number is an 11-digit unique identifier issued by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) for businesses and entities engaged in business activities. It serves as a crucial tool for simplifying business interactions and complying with legal obligations. It is required for GST registration, business identification, and government transactions. Additionally, businesses can use an (Australian Company Number) ACN lookup to verify the authenticity and details of other registered companies, enhancing transparency and trust in their business relationships.

In this Business Kitz blog, we will guide you through the process of obtaining an ABN and provide essential tips to help make your application experience smooth and hassle-free.

How do I get an ABN?

Step 1. Understand eligibility: Before applying for an ABN, ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria set by the ATO. Generally, you will be eligible if you are:

a) Carrying on an enterprise in Australia, such as running a business, trade, or profession.
b) Operating as a sole trader, company, partnership, trust, or other entities.
c) Planning to make $75,000 or more annually in business income.

Step 2. Gather necessary information: To streamline the application process, gather all the necessary information before starting the application. You will need:

a) Personal Information: Full name, date of birth, and contact details.
b) Business Details: Business name, business address, and the type of business you are running.
c) Tax File Number (TFN): Your personal TFN (if applicable) and the TFN of any associates involved in the business.
d) Business Structure: Indicate the legal structure of your business, such as sole trader, partnership, company, or trust.

Step 3. Choose the right business structure: Selecting the appropriate business structure is essential, as it will impact your legal and tax obligations. Each structure has its advantages and disadvantages, so take the time to research and consult with a business advisor if needed.

Step 4. Apply online: The most straightforward and fastest way to apply for an ABN is through the ATO’s online application system. Visit the ATO website and navigate to the ABN application section. Follow the prompts and enter all the required information accurately.

Step 5. Provide additional information (if required): In some cases, the ATO may request additional information to verify your business details or assess your eligibility. Be prepared to provide any requested documentation promptly to avoid delays in processing your application.

Step 6. Await confirmation: After submitting your application, you will receive a confirmation via email or mail within a few business days. Once approved, your ABN will be sent to you and you can start using it for business activities immediately.

How can I find my ABN?

To find your ABN number, log in to your myGov account and access the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) online services. Look for a section called “Business Details” or a similar option within ATO online services, where your ABN, along with other relevant business details, should be available. If you encounter any difficulties, you can contact the Australian Taxation Office for assistance.

How should I pay tax with an ABN?

The amount of tax you pay on your Australian Business Number can vary widely depending on your income, expenses, and circumstances. Generally, ABN holders are responsible for their own tax obligations, including income tax and Goods and Services Tax (GST), if applicable, which are calculated based on earnings and expenses. Consulting with a tax professional can help determine your specific tax liability.

What are some tips for a smooth ABN application?

When applying for an Australian Business Number, it is crucial to adhere to three fundamental principles: Accuracy is key, seek professional advice, and keep your details updated. Follow the application guidelines to apply for your free ABN registration ATO and heed tips for a seamless process.

1. Accuracy is Key: When applying for an Australian Business Number, attention to detail is crucial. Double-check all the information you provide in your application to ensure accuracy and avoid potential delays or rejections. Even small errors in your personal information, business details, or Tax File Number (TFN) can lead to complications during the processing of your application. Taking the time to review and verify the information you submit will save you time and frustration in the long run.

2. Seek Professional Advice: Applications may seem straightforward, but there can be complexities depending on your business structure and unique circumstances. If you’re unsure about any aspect of the application process or have questions about your business setup, consider seeking advice from a business advisor or accountant. These professionals have expertise in navigating the application process and can guide you through any challenges you might encounter.

3. Keep Your Details Updated: Once you receive your Australian Business Number, it’s essential to keep the information associated with it up-to-date. If there are any changes to your business details, such as a change in business address or contact information, make sure to notify the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) promptly. Keeping your ABN details accurate ensures that you receive relevant communications and that your ABN remains valid and active.

Additionally, if your business undergoes significant changes, such as a change in business structure or a change in the nature of your business activities, you may need to update your Australian Business Number registration. By keeping this information current, you avoid potential issues with government agencies and maintain compliance with relevant tax and regulatory requirements.

In conclusion, securing an ABN Australia is vital for business success. Follow application guidelines, heed tips for a seamless process, and stay informed for a prosperous journey.

Legal advice

If you have any concerns regarding your Australian Business Number, our highly experienced solicitors at our sister company, Legal Kitz can provide you with advice that is tailored to your situation, ensuring that your concerns are addressed. You can also request to book a FREE consultation or contact them at or 1300 988 954. You can also check out our Business Kitz subscription service today to begin your business with a solid foundation that ensures legal compliance. 

We are currently onboarding our first 3,000 users to our new powerful AI-assisted software which will be live soon