• New Wave Accountants

Australian Business Numbers: A Guide for Applicants

Because of market saturation, it’s often challenging to come up with creative business names. As a result, many Australian companies can have quite similar names. Fortunately, Australian Business Number (ABN) can prevent these establishments from getting mixed up.

An ABN is an 11-digit number given to business or organisations for better tracking for specific legal processes. It can also be used to send invoices to other companies, place orders from other businesses, apply for an Australian domain name, and claim credits for energy grants. However, not everyone is entitled to it. Learn more if you are entitled to it and how to apply by using this article as your guide.

Who Can Get an ABN?

ABNs are compulsory for many businesses. But to qualify for it, your business structure must be either of the following: a partnership, sole trader, company, or trust. In addition, you are entitled to it if you are planning to start a business, already carrying on a business, or are a registered company.

During the planning stage of your company, you must be setting up social media accounts or a website for your business or consulting with financial or tax advisers or business accountants. Your company must also have concrete operations, like recurring activities and record-keeping, and its size should be consistent and reasonable for commercial activity.

Keep in mind that running a business has specific requirements. When your activities do not meet the criteria of a business, they are considered a Hobby, making it not entitled to an ABN. Because of this, make sure your activities comply with the requirements when applying for an ABN.

On the other hand, you must also be cautious when doing certain activities as Hobbies, like trading, which meet the requirements for an ABN. Failure to register your business can make you liable for taxes.

How Do I Apply For an ABN?

The application process is simple and easy. You just need to complete an online application form at the Australian Business Register website. Before submitting your application, expect to provide the following information:

  • Registration numbers for the registering entity (Tax File Number and Australian Company Number)

  • Business contact information (Address, email, and telephone number)

  • Associates’ details (Full name, date of birth, and tax file number or residential address)

  • Business details (Description of main activities)

You will be required to choose a category. Use the Australian Taxation Office’s Business Industry code search if you are unsure which category your business falls under.

How Long Does It Take to Register for an ABN?

Your application will be processed automatically, and you will receive your ABN as soon as possible if you provide all of the necessary information. On the other hand, your application has to be manually processed if you are unable to give all the required details. This can take up to 28 days.


An ABN makes it easier for you to keep track of business transactions, which is especially helpful for tax purposes. Before you register for it, keep the information in this guide in mind and make sure you have all the required information. If you need further assistance, consider reaching out to experienced accounting professionals like us.

At New Wave Accounting, our team of tax accountants in Gold Coast provide end-to-end accounting and bookkeeping services. No matter your industry and size, we can help scale and grow your business. Book a free 30-minute consultation today!

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