You must apply for an ABN if:

  • You are registering a new business name.
  • Your business has a turnover of more than $75,000 per annum.
  • Your a Non Profit Organisation with a turnover of more than $150,000 per annum.
  • Your business needs to be endorsed as a gift deductible recipient.
  • Your business is a tax exempt charity.
 An Australian Business Number (ABN) is a single identifier for all business dealings with the tax office and for dealings with other government departments.

Not everyone is entitled to an ABN.

Employees and Hobbyists are not entitled to an ABN as they are not carrying on an enterprise.

Self Funded retirees also do need an ABN. They continue to use their Tax File Number when reporting their annual income to the tax office.

Companies registered under the Corporation Law and business entities such as Trusts and proprietors of Business Names registered within Australia after May 28, 2012 must have an ABN.

Why Enterprises Need An ABN

You need an ABN and GST registration in order to claim GST credits for any GST you have paid for goods and/or services you have used in your business. If you are supplying goods or services, you will need to be able to quote an ABN so that other businesses do not withhold tax at the top marginal rate when they pay you.

How Does The ABN Affect Relations Between Businesses?

Businesses registered for GST are required to issue tax invoices that quote their ABN. Under pay as you go taxation, businesses receiving an invoice are required to withhold tax from their payments for goods and services if an ABN is not quoted.