Applying for GST, PAYG and other registrations

To save time you can apply for other business registrations as a part of your Australian business number (ABN) application.

If your ABN application is refused, your other business registrations will not progress.

You may face prosecution or criminal charges if you apply for an ABN, register for Goods and services tax (GST) and claim GST refunds when you’re not entitled.

For more information, see:

Goods and services tax

GST is a broad-based tax of 10% on most goods, services and other items sold or consumed in Australia.

Not every business or enterprise needs to be registered for GST, but penalties may apply if you fail to register when required to do so.

You must register for GST:

  • when your business or enterprise has a GST turnover of $75,000 or more
  • when you provide taxi or limousine travel for passengers (including ride-sourcing) regardless of your GST turnover.

If you are a non-resident, depending on your business activities, you may need to register for GST. There are different proof-of-identity requirements for non-residents.

Once you are required to register for GST, you need to:

  • have an ABN before you register
  • register within 21 days.

For more information, see Register for GST.

Pay as you go withholding

You must register for PAYG withholding if you pay employees, contractors you have voluntary agreements with or businesses that don't quote their ABN.

You need to withhold amounts from payments you make to workers, other businesses and other payees and send the withheld amount to the ATO.

For more information, see Register for pay as you go withholding.

Business name

A business name is the name your business operates under. You will need to apply for a registered business name with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) if you conduct business under a name other than your own.

You won't need to register a business name, if you carry on a business in your own name (e.g. if your name is John Smith and the name of your business is ‘John Smith & Co’) or your company legal name.

Business names are not to be confused with the term 'trading name'. See Business and trading names.

If you are still using a trading name, you need to register a corresponding business name. Trading names will not be displayed in ABN Lookup from 31 October 2025.

Other registrations

Some business registrations need to be applied for directly with the relevant government agency.

Director identification number

You must have a director identification number (director ID) if you’re a director of a:

  • Australian company
  • registered Australian body
  • registered foreign company
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation.

To apply for a director ID, visit Australian Business Registry Services.

Registered trade mark

A trade mark legally protects your brand and helps customers distinguish your products and services in the market.

For more information on intellectual property and to check the availability of your trade mark, visit IP Australia and use the TM Checker.

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