Oct 8, 2020

Do I need an ABN?

If you will be undertaking business activities it is likely that you will require an ABN. This includes but is not limited to handling invoices, opening a business bank account and/or paying employee salaries. If you wish to register a business name or domain name in Australia you will require an ABN to do so, the ABN used for this then ‘holds’ that business name or domain. 

If you need to register for GST or PAYG you will also need an ABN.


If you are asked to provide an ABN prior to the commencement of work, this generally means you are being asked to work as an independent contractor. This is often the case for rideshare or delivery drivers e.g. Uber does require you to provide an ABN. 

In most cases where you invoice for your work or set your rate of pay, you would require an ABN. 

If your work is a hobby or leisure activity where you are paid only to compensate for your resources and time, not to make a profit, then you do not need an ABN for government purposes. 

As an individual your ABN is issued in your personal name, you may then choose to register a business name to this ABN if you wish to trade by a name different from your legal name. 


Most companies will require an ABN; if your company will be trading, it will need an ABN. 

An ABN is associated with a particular business structure, if you have an ABN as a sole trader this cannot be used for your company or trust - a new ABN would be needed for these structures as they are considered separate to yourself as an individual. 

If you have changed your business structure e.g. from a sole trader to a company, you will likely now trade under the company ABN and no longer need the ABN linked to your sole trader business. You can cancel the redundant ABN via the ABR website online or by lodging a paper form.


You can start your ABN application with us here. 


All information provided on this webpage is general information about our products and services. Nothing on this webpage is intended to be professional advice of any kind and should not be relied on as such. You should obtain specific financial, legal or other professional advice before relying on the content of this webpage. By not seeking such advice, you accept the risk that the information on this webpage may not meet the specific needs of your business. Our liability is limited to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law in accordance with our website terms and conditions.

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