So, you’ve decided that your business is going to do well and it’s time to give it a name. Congratulations!
You may have worked out what the company might be called on your own, or perhaps with the help of a friend or colleague. Now, of course, you’ll want to check if that company name is available for use by checking ASIC’s Australian Business Register Database. That way you can save yourself from having to change your business’ name later down the track.
However, other important factors will need to be taken into consideration too – such as whether the exact company name that you have chosen falls within certain guidelines – and one of those guidelines is set out by the Australian Securities Investment Commission (ASIC).
In this article, we’re going to discuss one of the most important regulations that a business operating in Australia is going to have to take into consideration – and that’s applying for a specific type of license called an Australian Business Number (ABN).
So without further ado, let’s get started by taking a look at what exactly an ABN is.
What is an Australian Business Number?
An Australian Business Number (ABN) is one of two things: either a unique number issued by the government exclusively for your company or, an identifier for companies that are not registered as either corporations or trusts. In other words, it’s your tax reference number that you can use when making payments to the ATO or even when having to provide a quote for your services.
When a business is registered, a unique ABN will be assigned, and that number must then appear in all forms of communication that have been used by the business in question – such as invoices, receipts, contracts and quotes. To make sure you can use your company’s ABN on any official forms which require it, however, you’ll need to register it first.
In terms of registration itself, there are two ways this can be done: either with the Australian Business Register Database or through an online service operated by myABN. Whichever method you choose depends upon what type of business structure you’re operating under.
If for whatever reason you need some help doing so, you can go ahead and register an ABN in just a few easy steps.
How is an Australian Business Number used?
The main use of an ABN is to make it easier for your company to pay taxes (go figure!). This means that any business which falls under the definition of “carrying on an enterprise” is required by law to identify itself with one. So, what does this exactly mean? Well, anything that involves producing or trading goods or services, buying or selling things like real estate (like houses), making investments (which may not necessarily directly involve trade) and even employing staff are all considered enterprises.
When you consider how many different types of businesses operate in Australia alone, it’s easy to see how an ABN can come in very handy.
How do you get an Australian Business Number?
Getting an ABN for your business is pretty simple really, so long as you meet some basic requirements:
You must be carrying on an enterprise. You need to have a valid reason for using the number (i.e.: invoicing). Your name or the name of the company that will use the number needs to match what’s on your ASIC entry. The legal form of your business needs to match the type of activity it’s involved in i.e.: you cannot use an ABN if you are registered under a different kind of structure, such as a trust. If you choose to use myABN, you’ll need to be using an Australian financial institution to manage your transactions.
As you can see, the list of requirements is relatively short compared to other types of licenses and registrations that are required when starting a business. All things considered, getting an ABN doesn’t require much effort or time at all. However, if for whatever reason you’re having trouble applying for one, then feel free to check this one: ABN partnership. They’ll be more than willing to help in any way we possibly can.