What is a business number

In Australia, an Australian Business Number (ABN) is a unique 11-digit identifier that the Australian government provides to all businesses when they register with the Australian Business Register (ABR).

What is a business number

In Australia, an Australian Business Number (ABN) is a unique 11-digit identifier that the Australian government provides to all businesses when they register with the Australian Business Register (ABR).

All entities undertaking economic activities are required to have an Australian Business Number, and it serves as the primary legal identifier for businesses within the country.

Purposes and uses of an ABN

The ABN is used extensively to:

  • Facilitate communication and identification of business entities across different government platforms and programs.
  • Ensure businesses can claim Goods and Services Tax (GST) credits on their purchases.
  • Confirm business identity to others when invoicing and ordering.
  • Allow businesses to easily confirm the identity of their suppliers.

Visibility and compliance

An ABN should be displayed prominently on all official documents, including websites, invoices, and receipts. This assists in verifying the legitimacy of the business and acts as a requisite for certain transactions and interactions, especially in dealings with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and other business entities.

For instance, when opening a business bank account in Australia, the financial institution will request the company’s ABN. The same requirement is necessary when liaising with public officials and government departments.

For more information or to apply for an ABN, companies in Australia can visit the Australian Business Register’s official website.