Are you entitled to an ABN?
An ABN or Australian Business Number a unique 11 digit number used to identify businesses and organisations that are carrying on a commercial enterprise.
An ABN is not a TFN (tax file number) nor an ACN (Australia Company Number) which also are additional business entity identifiers.
An ABN is free to apply for and is only issued when all entitlement criteria are met. The required criteria include your situation, activities, business structure and identity.
Of particular importance for startup and micro businesses is the definition of ‘commercial enterprise’.
There is no single test to apply rather a range of questions that are indicators that an enterprise is being carried on.
The following activities are the common indicators:
- activity is not a hobby!
- a business plan exists
- an intention to make a profit
- activities are of a reasonable size and scale
- activities are organised and business like
- records are being kept
- relevant knowledge and skills are evident
- repetition of the activities are /will be occurring
How to Apply for an ABN
Applying for an ABN is done online at the Australian Business Register (ABR).
The ATO has produced a range 511 information videos all available on Youtube: Australian Tax Office to assist small business owners to their understand business compliance requirements.