Do I Need An ABN?

If you’re starting a business one of the first steps is to apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN). This can be done online and must be done before you begin trading. Sole traders, partnerships and companies all require an ABN.


Organising an Australian Business Number (ABN) early ensures you can track your income and expenses correctly from the day business activities begin. Your ABN must be included on invoices or receipts you provide to your clients or customers.

Business commencement activities can be:

  • Advertising, setting up a website, purchasing business cards
  • Obtaining business licences or insurances
  • Purchasing equipment or stock for the business
  • Issuing quotes
  • Applying for finance

Key information you need for the ABN application includes:

  • Your Tax File Number
  • A previously held ABN or Australian Company Number
  • The entities legal trading name
  • Names of authorised contacts
  • Business contact details
  • Business activity and locations

If the correct information is provided, the Australian Business Number is received as soon as the online application is submitted. You can then apply for other business registrations, such as GST. If information is omitted or needs to be verified, it may take up to 28 days for the application to be processed.

You are only entitled an ABN while you’re carrying out business activities. The Australian Business Register does periodic checks to make sure you are still carrying on an enterprise. They may cancel your Australian Business Number if business activities have ceased and you don’t respond to Australian Business Register correspondence.

Need to apply for an ABN? Contact the team at Bosco Accounting today.