Companies registered under the Corporations Act 2001 and business entities carrying on an enterprise in Australia are entitled to an ABN if they apply.
What happens to your ACN?
Your ABN is based on your ACN but it has 2 additional leading digits and becomes an 11 digit number.
Can I use my ABN instead of my ACN?
Yes, you can use your ABN with your company's name, on company documents, provided that:
your ABN includes your Corporations Act 2001 number; and
the quotation of the ABN is effected in the same manner in which quotation of the Corporations Act 2001 number would normally occur. (For example, a company is required to place its ACN with its name on the first page where that name appears in a document).
What is the Australian Business Register?
When an organisation applies for and receives their ABN, the business details from their application become part of the Australian Business Register (ABR).
The ABR is the central collection, storage and verification system for basic business identity information for all entities with an ABN.
How do I apply for an ABN?
You can apply for an ABN:
electronically through the ABR, if all you wish to do is apply for an ABN;
electronically through business.gov.au where you can also attend to other government obligations, as well as apply for an ABN; or
on a paper application, available by phoning the Australian Taxation Office on 13 28 66.
Need more information?
If you would like to find out more about the tax system: