Applying for an ABN

How to apply and reapply

The ABN is a unique 11-digit number that identifies your business or organisation to the government and community.

Not everyone is entitled to an ABN. You may face prosecution or criminal charges if you apply for an ABN, register for GST and claim GST refunds when you’re not entitled.

You may be subject to an ABN entitlement review at any time. If we conduct a review, you'll be asked to provide evidence that you commenced, or took steps to commence, your business or enterprise from the start date provided in your ABN application.

Apply or reapply for an ABN using the application below:

Apply or reapply for an ABN

Watch this video to find out more about ABNs.

Processing your application

Your application will be processed faster if we can identify you from the information you provide, such as your tax file number.

If you don't have all the information now, you can still start your application and save it as you go, but the issuing of your ABN is likely to be delayed.

A successful application

If your application is successful:

  • you'll receive your 11-digit ABN immediately
  • you should print or save the confirmation of your ABN and ABN details
  • you can immediately apply for other business registrations, such as GST
  • your details will be added to the Australian Business Register (ABR) - you can request that certain details not be disclosed if you have privacy concerns
  • it's now your responsibility to keep your details up to date.

If you receive a reference number it may mean we need to check some details in your application or more information is needed. We aim to review your application within 20 business days and will contact you if we need further information.

You can check ABN Lookup at any time to see if the ABN has been successfully processed. If the application is processed successfully after our review, we will send you a letter within 14 days to confirm your ABN.

An unsuccessful application

If your application is unsuccessful, you'll receive a refusal number. You'll also receive a letter within 14 days confirming that your application has been refused, the reasons for the refusal and the options available to you. This includes your review rights.

It's important to remember that not everyone is entitled to an ABN.

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