What is an ABN
An ABN ie Australian Business Number is issued by Australian Business Register (ABR).
The Australian Business Register (ABR) stores business and organisation details. Their purpose is to verify business information to the community and government.
The ABN is a unique 11 digit number that identifies your business to the government and other businesses.
Do I need an ABN?
If you are a business (whether that’s a sole trader, partnership, company or trust) you must have an ABN to invoice clients. In cases where a business is required to quote their Australian Business Number, but hasn’t, the party paying the invoice will have to withhold 47% of the invoice amount?
Other reasons you need an ABN are:
- Set up an Australian business, or other form of entity eg Not For Profit NFP; operate as a sole trader or partnership
- Employee staff
- Sell goods and services GST, and claim the GST
- Import goods into Australia
- Require an Australian domain name
- If you require to register a business trade mark
If your online store sells to business customers in Australia, it is essential that you include the ABN (Australian Business Number) on your invoices and receipts.
What is an ACN?
An ACN is an Australian Company Number issued by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). Every company in Australia is issued with a unique, nine-digit number when registered with ASIC.
What is the key difference between the ABN and ACN?
A key difference between ABNs and ACNs is the registration process for each. For instance, while the Australian Business Register registers ABNs, you will need to obtain an ACN through the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
The purpose of the ACN number is to enable shareholders, partners, customers, other businesses and ASIC to identify the company.
The ACN can also be used to search for information on a company; for example, Who are the directors and shareholders, how much share capital and where is their place of business.
A company’s ACN must be on all ‘public documents eg business letterheads, cheques, official company notices.
If you make changes to your company eg move the registered office, remove or appoint a director you will require your ACN.