How to find my ABN?

by | Mar 18, 2024

What is an ABN? 

An Australian Business Number (ABN) is a unique 11-digit identifier that allows businesses in Australia to interact with various government departments, including the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), and the community. It’s used for various tax and business purposes, including invoicing, claiming goods and services tax (GST) credits, and more. Businesses need to register for an ABN to operate effectively and comply with Australian tax laws. 

Who needs an ABN? 

Individuals or entities that need an ABN include those carrying out a business in Australia. This encompasses sole traders, partnerships, companies, and trusts. Specifically, if you are starting a small business, providing goods or services, invoicing clients, needing to claim GST credits, or hiring employees, you should register for an ABN. It’s a fundamental requirement for operating a business within the legal and tax frameworks of Australia. 

When should I register for an ABN? 

Ideally, you should register for an ABN before starting your business to ensure compliance with Australian tax laws and facilitate business transactions from the onset. This pre-registration can help avoid any legal or operational issues related to taxation and business identity verification. 

How to apply for an ABN? 

To register for an ABN, visit the Australian Business Register website and follow their online application process. You’ll need to provide personal details, information about your business activities, and your reasons for applying. Ensure you meet the eligibility criteria before starting your application. The process is straightforward and can typically be completed in under an hour if you have all the necessary information ready.  

How to find my ABN?

To find your ABN, you can use the ABN Lookup web service provided by the Australian Business Register. This also serves as your ABN checker. It allows you to search for your ABN using your business name or your personal details if you are a sole trader. This service is publicly available and can also be used to verify the ABN of other businesses. 

How to cancel my ABN 

You may need to cancel your ABN if your small business is closing down, you’re selling or changing the business structure, or if it’s no longer operating in Australia. Additionally, if you registered for an ABN but did not start the business, cancellation is also necessary.

Canceling your ABN when your business ceases operations ensures compliance with Australian Taxation Office (ATO) requirements, avoiding potential legal and tax implications. It helps maintain the integrity of the Australian Business Register by keeping it up to date, which in turn supports accurate and reliable business information for government and public use. This action also signals to the ATO and other relevant bodies that your business is no longer incurring tax obligations, thereby simplifying your tax affairs. 

To cancel your ABN, you’ll need to log in to the Australian Business Register (ABR) website using your myGovID. Once logged in, navigate to the “Cancel ABN” section and follow the instructions provided to complete the cancellation process. Ensure you have all necessary information about your business handy, as you may need to provide reasons for the cancellation and confirm your business details. 

About Chan & Naylor 

Chan & Naylor is a Sydney based business tax accounting firm. Founded in 1990, we have partnered with thousands of small business owners all over Australia. Choosing Chan & Naylor means you’re not just selecting a service provider; you’re gaining a partner aligned with your business goals. You’ll have access to a dedicated client manager supported by a team of accountants that specialises in small business tax, bookkeeping, auditing, business structures, property trusts and investments.  

Contact us today to discover how we can work together to achieve your financial goals. 


This guide serves as general advice and may not account for the unique circumstances of individual readers. For personalised and strategic solutions tailored to your specific situation, we invite you to seek professional advice from Chan & Naylor. Our highly experienced team is dedicated to helping you navigate the complexities of Australian taxation, ensuring that your financial strategies align with the latest regulations. Contact us today to embark on a path of informed and customised tax planning for your property investments.