What you need to know about australian business numbers

Having an Australian Business Number (ABN) is vital if you are thinking about becoming self-employed, otherwise companies you deal with can hold up to 46.5 per cent of payments to you for tax purposes.

An ABN will also be required by anyone hoping to obtain credit in the form of a low doc loan – so it is important to register for one as soon as possible.

What is an ABN?

An ABN is a unique 11-digit identifying number that you will need when you interact with other businesses.

For instance, you will often be required to put your ABN number on invoices and other sales-related documents.

You will also need to use it when dealing with the Australian Tax Office (ATO) or other areas of government, and while obtaining an ABN isn’t compulsory, it is needed to register for the GST.

This makes it a worthwhile investment of your time if you are seriously considering becoming your own boss!

What else can I do with my ABN?

•      Facilitate a single Business Activity Statement
•      Be able to claim energy grants credits
•      Buy an Australian domain name
•      Claim GST credits
•      Avoid pay-as-you-go tax instalments on payments you receive

How do I apply?

There are several ways of applying for an ABN

•      An online application through the Australian Business Register
•      A paper application, with documents available for download at the ATO website
•      Through a tax agent, who will complete your application online for you

However, it is important to fill out the information on your application clearly and accurately, as the punishments can be severe.