ABNs: What Every Australian Business Needs to Know

Understanding an ABN

An Australian Business Number (ABN) is a unique 11-digit identifier issued by the Australian Business Register (ABR) and operated by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). It is essential for businesses operating in Australia as it enables them to engage in various commercial activities and comply with taxation and regulatory obligations.

Why is an ABN Important?

1. Business Identification

An ABN is used to identify your business to other businesses, the government, and the public. It helps in distinguishing your business from others and is required for registering your business name.

2. GST Registration

If your business has an annual turnover of $75,000 or more, you must register for Goods and Services Tax (GST). An ABN is a prerequisite for GST registration. Having an ABN also allows you to claim GST credits for any GST included in the price of goods and services you buy for your business.

3. Invoicing and Payments

An ABN must be included on your invoices. Without an ABN, other businesses may withhold 47% of any payments they make to you. Including your ABN on invoices ensures you receive the full amount of your earnings.

4. Claiming Tax Benefits

An ABN enables you to claim fuel tax credits and other tax concessions that your business may be eligible for. It also simplifies the process of lodging your tax returns and activity statements.

5. Business Relationships

Having an ABN can help establish credibility and trust with other businesses, suppliers, and customers. It signifies that your business is legitimate and compliant with Australian regulations.

How to Apply for an ABN

Applying for an ABN is a straightforward process that can be done online. Here are the basic steps:

  1. Determine Eligibility: Ensure that your business activities are eligible for an ABN. This generally includes operating a business in Australia or making supplies connected with Australia.
  2. Gather Information: Prepare the necessary information, such as details about your business structure, business location, and tax file number (TFN).
  3. Complete the Application: Visit the Australian Business Register (ABR) website and complete the online application form. The form will require you to provide detailed information about your business.
  4. Submit the Application: After completing the form, submit your application online. In most cases, you will receive your ABN immediately.

When to Contact BOA Accountants

While applying for an ABN is relatively simple, it’s essential to ensure that all information is accurate and that you meet the eligibility requirements. BOA Accountants can assist you with the application process, ensuring that everything is done correctly and efficiently.

Need help with your ABN? Contact BOA Accountants at 1300 952 286, email info@boanco.com.au, or visit www.boanco.com.au. Our expert team is ready to help you navigate the process and provide ongoing support for all your business needs.


An ABN is a vital component for any business operating in Australia. It facilitates identification, compliance, and access to various benefits. If you’re starting a new business or need assistance with your existing ABN, BOA Accountants is here to help. Reach out to us today to ensure your business is set up for success and compliance.

Leave a Comment