An Australian Business Number ABN is an 11 digit number that identifies your business to the government and community. It is separate to your Tax File Number (TFN), but it is used for various tax and business purposes.
If you are carrying on business in Australia, you must register for an ABN. The application process is done online through the Australian Business Register (ABR). For simple registrations where all information is provided at the time of registration, an ABN is issued immediately after the online application is submitted.
Unfortunately, in recent times the ABR have introduced new identity confirmation procedures which generally means that companies with foreign directors must submit certified copies of identification documents before an ABN will be issued. This can cause significant delays in being issued an ABN, which while not preventing the company from operating, causes some issues with banking arrangements and invoicing customers.
If you’re looking at establishing a company in Australia, we can help to guide you through this process.
*Correct as of November 2015
*Disclaimer – this article has been produced by Kreston Stanley Williamson as a service to its clients and associates. The information contained in the article is of general comment only and is not intended to be advice on any particular matter. Before acting on any areas contained in this article, it is imperative you seek specific advice relating to your particular circumstances. Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.