Technically, once you receive your ABN you are able to begin trading immediately.
Although this is the case, businesses and individuals that you deal with will often want to verify that your ABN is active and legitimate.
Anyone can verify the legitimacy of an ABN through the ABN Lookup, which is an online register hosted by the ABR. The ABN Lookup provides publicly-accessible information on all current and historical ABNs.
Upon receiving your ABN, the ABR can take up to 24 hours to update its system to reflect the new details. It is only once this occurs that anyone can verify that your entity is legitimately registered for an ABN.
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Updated — Mar 14, 2019