A Small Business’ Guide To Setting Up An ABN

Simple Business Tips to Set up an ABN

Starting a new business venture is an exciting prospect. To ensure that your business gets off to the best possible start, you need to make sure that your new enterprise is compliant with Australian business laws and regulations. There are a number of different steps that you will need to complete before you can legally open your doors to the public and start doing business. One of these important tasks is setting up an Australian Business Number (ABN). 

An ABN is a unique eleven-digit number that is used to identify your business to the government and the community. Not only is this number used to identify your business but it is also essential for you to complete a number of business-related tasks such as applying for energy grants, getting a .com.au domain name, avoiding paying PAYG, claiming GST credits and identifying your business when you are issuing invoices. Registering for an ABN is relatively straightforward provided you follow the necessary steps correctly.

Let’s take a look at how you can set up an ABN with our dedicated ABN guide for small business.

Determine If Your Business Needs An ABN

Not every business is eligible for an ABN so before you begin you need to determine if your business needs an ABN. Essentially, any business in Australia that is starting or carrying on a business, is a Corporations Act Company or makes supplies that relate to the country’s indirect tax zone will need to apply for an ABN. On the other hand, if you are undertaking work as a contractor or an employee, you may not need to get an ABN. It’s important to determine whether or not you need to apply for an ABN so that you can proceed with your business in the appropriate manner. 

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What You Need To Apply For An ABN

Prior to beginning the ABN application process, there is some essential information that you will need. First, you will need to have determined the structure of your business. The four most common business structures in Australia are sole trader, partnership, company or trust. Be sure to choose the most suitable business structure for your business as this will be important going forward. You will also need proof of identity and you will need to provide details of your business activities and associates to proceed with your application

The ABN Application Process

Once you have all of the necessary information and documentation, you can apply for your ABN online via the Business Registration Service website. The process takes around ten minutes and if your application is successful, you will receive your ABN within ten minutes or so. With your ABN now secured you can start to apply for important business registrations such as Goods and Services Tax (GST) and your business information can be added to the Australian Business Register (ABR).

What Happens If My Application Is Unsuccessful? 

If for any reason, your application is not approved, you will be issued with a refusal number. Within two weeks, you should receive a letter from the Business Registration Service to confirm that your application was unsuccessful and the reasons why. This letter will highlight what options are available to you moving forward, one of which will be a review of your application. 

Set Up Your Australian Business Number (ABN) With Ease

Setting up an ABN for your business might seem daunting, however, if you take the time to go through each of the steps carefully, it is a quick and painless process. Be sure to take the time to assess your eligibility for an ABN before you begin the application process. If you are eligible, simply prepare your proof of ID, determine your business structure and set out details of your business associates and activities. With this information ready-to-go, you can begin your ABN application with confidence and go through the process with ease. 

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