In order to obtain an ABN for your company all officeholders must be included in the application and all of their information must be provided. You cannot remove or simply leave out an associate from the ABN application to make the process quicker or easier.
The reality is that ASIC and the ATO both require different standards of information and follow separate processes for identification verification.
If you feel it necessary to proceed with an ABN application without an associate this is possible, but only if this associate is removed as an officeholder of the company. To do this you must lodge the change of company structure directly with ASIC, see here.
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Updated — Aug 30, 2018