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Australian Business Number

An Australian Business Number (ABN) is a unique 11-digit number that identifies your business to Australian Taxation Authority (ATO), other government departments and agencies with one identifier.

The following entities will need an ABN to comply with tax liabilities:

• Organization business with GST turnover of $75000 or greater must register for GST.
• Non-profit organization with GST $150000 or greater must register for GST.
• Charities which are taking exemption from income tax require an ABN.
• An organization which includes an activity or series of activities performed by gift deductible entity and charity require ABN for such operation.
Other eligible entities which may choose to register for an ABN:
• Company registered under the Company Act 2001.
• Business entities carrying business in Australia.
• Government entity.
• Superannuation fund.
• A Non-profit sub entity for GST purpose.
• An entity that, in the course of furtherance of carrying on an enterprise, makes supplies to other states but operates its business in Australia.
Above organizations can apply for ABN in of the following ways:
• Electronically
– At http://www.abr.gov.au
– The Australian government website at http://www.business.gov.au where tax payer can also fill other obligation.
• Manually by contacting ATO on 139226.
• Through a tax agent who will file an application using electronic lodgement system.
When applying for an ABN online it is important to provide exact details about taxpayers business to avoid delays in processing their application.
The proof of identity information provided in taxpayer’s application will be validated against other source; for example ATO tax records and the Australian Securities and investment commission (ASIC).
Before an application is processed, ATO investigate to make sure that applicant does not have an existing ABN record or submitted a previous application. If match is found, the subsequent application is delayed.

The following information will help applicants to submit their application.

ABN: Applicant will be asked if they currently have or previously held an ABN for the entity they are applying for.
Tax agent number: Providing your tax agent number will enable them to undertake work on your behalf.
ACN or ARBN: Companies and registrable Australian bodies will need to register with ASIC before applying for an ABN.
Legal name of the entity: The legal name of the entity is the name that appears on all official documents or legal papers.
TFN: Applicant ABN application will be processed faster if applicants TFN is provided.
Business location: Applicant will be asked to provide the details of all your business locations.
Authorized contact details: The authorized contact person must be able to deal with any issue relating to business or organization regarding its ABN.
Associate details: All associates details must be provided during the process of an ABN application.
Business activity details: Applicant business activity is usually that which is the main source of revenue generation of your business or organization.
Date of ABN is required: The ABN will be issued from the date requested by the applicant.
Declaration: Before submitting your application you will be required to complete a declaration stating that the information you have provided is true and correct.

I want to register a company. Do I apply for an Australian Company Number (ACN) or an ABN first?

You will need to register your ACN first, then your ABN.

For information on applying for an ACN and to download an application form, visit How to register a company on the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) website.

How long does it take to get an ABN?

If you provide all the required information when applying online , you’ll receive an online notification of your ABN immediately after completing your application.

If your identity cannot be confirmed, or more information is needed, the ABR will review your application within 20 business days. They may contact you if they need more information.

My business details have changed. Who do I need to inform?
You must inform the ABR within 28 days of becoming aware of any changes to your ABN registration details. Please note that when you change your business structure you may also be required to register a new ABN.

Visit the Update your ABN details page on the ABR website for more information about updating you ABN information.

When you make changes to your business, you may also need to change your business name details. To do this, you must inform the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

When and how do I cancel my ABN?
If you’re closing your business, or changing your business structure, it’s likely you’ll need to cancel your ABN.
You’ll need to cancel your ABN when changing from a:
sole trader to company
sole trader to partnership
partnership to company.

If your business is no longer operating, you need to cancel your ABN on the ABR website.

You can get More information on Australian Business Number on ATO Website by clicking here.

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