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Business registration

Business Registration Service Beta

We’ve made it easier to register a business online. With this new service, you can apply for key business registrations using one form. Even though it’s a Beta service, the registrations you apply for are real.

Who can use this service?

The Business registration service is currently available for:

Not sure if you want to use it? You can use the Australian Business Register (ABR) website to apply for business name, ABN, and tax registrations and the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) website to register a company.

We need your help! If you use this service, please give us your feedback so we can make it even better!

Ready to register

Welcome to the Australian Government Business Registration Service.
Here you can apply for your key business and tax registrations in one place.

Are you new to business? To help you get started, see business.gov.au's Starting your business checklist and download a business plan template.

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Welcome to the Australian Government Business Registration Service Public Beta. The service combines a number of key government business and tax registration forms in one place including:

  • Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • Business name
  • Goods and Services Tax (GST)*
  • Australian company
  • Pay as You Go (PAYG) withholding*
  • Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT)*
  • Luxury Car Tax (LCT)*
  • Fuel Tax Credits (FTC)*
  • Wine Equalisation Tax (WET)*
  • Administrator AUSkey*.

*At the moment on the New business section of the Business registration service, you can only apply for the registrations indicated above together with a business or company application.

If you already have an ABN and want to apply for:

What is a Public Beta website?

A public beta website is typically a real working website or service in its final testing stage. A beta is used to receive public feedback to help improve the service.


Please note: Even though the Business Registration Service is in beta, the registrations you apply for are real!

So if you use the Business Registration Service, please give us your feedback.

What does it cost to register?

There is no charge to register for tax registrations, but there is a fee for the following:

  • Business name - For each business name, you can pay $35 for 1 year or $82 for 3 years. See the current list of business name fees on the ASIC website.
  • Australian company - The cost depends on the type of company you register. For example you'll pay $479 to register a proprietary limited company. See the current list of company fees on the ASIC website.

Where can I register for a business TFN?

If you're applying for an ABN for a partnership, company or trust you'll need a business TFN.

The good news is you don't need to register. The ATO will automatically issue a partnership, company or trust with a TFN (if one doesn't already exist).

Can I register Norfolk Island businesses here?

Yes. Norfolk Island businesses can apply here for the following business registrations:

  • Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • Business name
  • Australian company – if operating on the Australian mainland
  • Pay As You Go (PAYG) withholding
  • Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT)
  • AUSKey

Norfolk Island businesses do not need to register for Goods and Services Tax (GST), Luxury Car Tax (LCT), Fuel Tax Credits (FTC) or Wine Equalisation Tax (WET).


Norfolk Island companies are registered with the Norfolk Island Registry.

However, if your Norfolk Island company is or will be operating on the Australian mainland, you'll need to register as a foreign company with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC).

Find out about registering foreign companies on the ASIC website.


Can I update my details or apply for renewals here?

Not at the moment. The Business registration form only accepts new business or tax registrations.

To update or renew your registrations you'll need to refer to the correspondence you receive confirming your registration.

If you can't find your correspondence, visit the following agency websites to:

Can I apply here for state licences or permits?

No. You'll still need to find and apply for your business licences and permits on the Australian Business Licence & Information Service (ABLIS) website.

Where do I go for help?

If you have a question about the form or how your registrations are progressing, contact business.gov.au on 13 28 46

Australian Business Number (ABN)

An ABN is a unique 11 digit number that identifies your business to the public, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and other government agencies.

Applying for an ABN is free, but not everyone is entitled to one.

Why should I have an ABN?

If you're running a business, you may need an ABN. Having an ABN means you can:

  • confirm your business identity to others when ordering and invoicing
  • avoid having business clients withhold a percentage of any payments they make to you
  • register a business name
  • register a '.com.au', '.net.au', or '.org.au' domain name.

You also need to have an ABN if you register for Goods and Services Tax (GST)


You don't need an ABN if the business is:

  • located in the Christmas or Cocos Islands
  • a joint venture (where the partners have their own ABNs).

Do I also need a business TFN?

If you're applying for an ABN for a partnership, company or trust, you'll need a business TFN.

The good news is you don't need to register. The ATO will automatically issue the partnership, company or trust with a TFN (if one doesn't already exist).

Can I use my old ABN?

You can reuse a previous ABN if the old business had the same entity type as the new one.


Please note: If the entity types are different, you’ll be issued with a new ABN.

To reuse a previous ABN, first apply for a new ABN here on the Business registration service. Once this application is successful, the Australian Business Registrar can then issue you with your old ABN.

Find out more

See the Australian Business Register's ABN Explained page for more details.

Business name

A business name, also known as a trading name, is a name or title under which a person, or other legal entity, carries on business. It also helps customers and other businesses find, identify and connect with your business.

You need to register a business name if you conduct business under a name other than your own.

Discover more about business names and when to register one on the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) website.

Registering a business name

When you register a business name, you register it nationally with ASIC. This means you can operate your business in any state or territory in Australia.

See the things you need to consider before registering a business name on the ASIC website.

Protecting your business name

Registering a business name doesn't stop others from using it! Before you register a business name, consider these steps:

  • Check existing names: Search ASIC's Registers to see if the business name is available.
  • Check existing trade marks: Make sure you’re not infringing on someone else’s intellectual property (IP). Visit the IP Australia website to find out about searching for trade marks in Australia and overseas.
  • Register a web address: If you want to use your proposed business name as part of your web address, see our information on registering a domain name.
  • Apply for a trade mark: To protect your business name, apply for a trade mark on the IP Australia website.

Find out the difference between a business name, trade mark, company name and domain name on the ASIC website.

Visit the IP Australia website for details on how to protect your name and other brands.

Renewing your business name

You need to renew your business name regularly. You can pay yearly or every three years. See the business name renewal fees on the ASIC website.

The Business registration service does not currently process business name renewals. See the different options available for renewing your business name on the ASIC website.

Goods & Services Tax (GST)

You must register for GST if:

  • your business has a GST turnover of $75,000 or more
  • your business charges passengers for taxi services or limousine travel (including ride sharing)
  • you want to claim Fuel Tax Credits (FTC)
  • you need to register for Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) or Luxury Car Tax (LCT).

Please note: You must have an Australian Business Number (ABN) in order to register for GST. If you don't already have an ABN, you can use this form to apply for both at the same time.

Don't expect to exceed $75,000? You can still volunteer to register for GST.

Registering for GST also allows you to claim credits for any GST included in the price of purchases for your business.

Visit the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website to:

How GST works

GST is a tax of 10% on most goods and services sold in Australia. Generally, businesses that are registered for GST:

  • collect GST on the goods and services they sell and forward it to the ATO
  • claim credits for the GST included in the price of goods and services they buy for their business.

What do I need to do?

If you're registered for GST, you'll need to:

  • work out which goods and services you sell are subject to GST
  • include GST in the prices you charge for those goods and services
  • give tax invoices to your customers that include the GST amount
  • account for GST in your books
  • put aside the GST you've collected
  • get tax invoices and claim GST credits for goods and services you buy for your own business
  • lodge activity statements or annual returns to the ATO
  • pay GST to the ATO (or get a GST refund).

Find out more

Read about how GST works on the ATO website.

Australian company

A company is a type of business structure. When you set up a company, you create a legal entity that's separate from you. To find out more about companies and how they're different from other business structures, visit our company page.

Company registration

To set up a company, it must be registered under the Corporations Act 2001.

You can register these types of companies here:

  • Proprietary limited companies (also known as private companies) - the most common company structure used by small businesses
  • Public companies limited by shares or guarantee
  • Public companies with no liability
  • Special purpose companies (not for profit, home unit/body corporate, superannuation trustee)

To register a private or public company that's unlimited (where the liability of shareholders is unlimited), you need to apply:

  • by using the company registration form on the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) website, or
  • through a business service provider.

To find out more about these application options, see step 6 of how to start a company on the ASIC website.


Fees

The fees you pay depend on the type of company you're registering. Visit the ASIC website for details of:

Before you register

Before you register a company, you need to:

  • choose a company name
  • decide whether your company will be proprietary or public
  • work out who the directors and shareholders will be
  • understand your legal obligations as a director and shareholder.

To find out more, read company officeholder duties on the ASIC website.

After you register

When registered, the company will:

  • get a unique Australian Company Number (ACN) and a Certificate of Registration
  • appear in the company register
  • be required to complete an annual review and pay an annual review fee each year (see annual statements on the ASIC website)
  • be required to tell ASIC of changes in company details, usually within 28 days of the change taking place (otherwise, late fees may apply - see check and change company details on the ASIC website).

To find out what company information is available to the public in the company register, go to companies and organisations - search ASIC's Registers.

For information about how ASIC handles personal information, read the summary of ASIC's privacy policy.

Pay As You Go (PAYG) withholding

You must be registered for PAYG withholding before you need to withhold tax amounts from payments such as:

  • the wage or salary payments you make to employees
  • payments to directors
  • payments to businesses that do not quote their ABN to you
  • royalty, dividend or interest payments to non-residents
  • investment income payments to Australian residents (if you're an investment body).

You must then forward these tax amounts to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

PAYG withholding isn't a tax on your business - it's a tax on your employees' income that you help the ATO to collect.

Check to see if you need to register for PAYG withholding on the ATO website.

What do I need to do?

Being registered for PAYG withholding means you:

  • work out how much you need to withhold
  • report PAYG withholding amounts to the ATO
  • pay PAYG withholding amounts to the ATO when they're due
  • include PAYG withholding amounts in your employees' pay slips and payment summaries.

Find out more

See how PAYG withholding works on the ATO website.

Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT)

As an employer, if you give certain fringe benefits to your employees, you must pay tax on the value of the fringe benefits.

You'll need to register for FBT before you start providing these benefits.

Visit the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website to:

What do I need to do?

Being registered for FBT means you:

  • work out how much FBT you have to pay
  • keep records related to the fringe benefits you provide
  • report fringe benefits on your employees' payment summaries
  • report fringe benefits to the ATO
  • pay the FBT to the ATO.

Find out more

Read about FBT for small business on the ATO website.

Luxury Car Tax (LCT)

LCT is a tax on the supply and import of cars that exceed the LCT threshold.

You must register for LCT if you sell or import luxury cars.

To register for LCT you must also be registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Visit the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website to:

What do I need to do?

Being registered for LCT means you:

  • work out the LCT payable and include it in the import or sale
  • account for LCT sales and imports in your books
  • report and pay LCT to the ATO.

Find out more

Go to the ATO website for more about:

Fuel Tax Credits (FTC)

If you register for FTC, you can claim credits for the fuel tax you pay on eligible fuels. The amount of FTC you can claim depends on the type of fuel you use and the business activity you use it in.

To be eligible, you must:

  • be registered for GST
  • use eligible fuels in eligible business activities.

Visit the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website to:

What do I need to do?

Being registered for FTC means you:

  • work out how much you can claim on eligible fuels
  • keep records of the type and quantity of fuels, when you bought the fuels and how you used them in your business.

Find out more

Read more about Fuel Tax Credits on the ATO website.

Wine Equalisation Tax (WET)

You must register for WET and GST if you produce or sell wholesale wines that WET applies to.

WET applies to grape wines, fruit wines, vegetable wines, cider, perry, mead, and sake (where they contain more than 1.15% by volume of ethyl alcohol).

Visit the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website to:

What is WET?

WET is a tax on the consumption of wine in Australia, and it's usually applied to the last wholesale sale - this is usually the sale to the retailer. You collect the tax to give to the ATO.

What do I need to do?

Being registered for WET means you:

  • work out which sales are subject to WET
  • calculate the WET amount
  • issue tax invoices that show the WET amount
  • claim any WET credits you may be entitled to (including rebates or refunds)
  • account for WET amounts in your books
  • put aside WET you've collected
  • report and pay WET to the ATO.

Find out more

Read more about Wine Equalisation Tax on the ATO website.

Business logins - AUSkey


Only Administrator AUSkey registration is available here.

What is an AUSkey?

An AUSkey is a secure login that's set up on your computer. If you're eligible, AUSkey lets you log in to many government services including business and tax forms.

What can I do with an AUSkey?

With a compatible system or browser, an AUSkey can help you:

  • update your business name details through ASIC connect
  • lodge your Business Activity Statements (BAS) through the Business Portal
  • update your Australian Business Number (ABN) details
  • submit tax statements through 'SBR-enabled' accounting, bookkeeping or payroll desktop software.

See where you can use your AUSkey on the Australian Business Register (ABR) website.

If you want to log in from different computers, you can set up an AUSkey on a USB stick.

How do I register?

You can only register for an Administrator AUSkey here by selecting the AUSkey checkbox together with another registration on the 'Ready to register' screen. All you need to provide is your:

  • Tax file number
  • Australian telephone number
  • Email address.

Find out more about registering for an AUSkey on the ABR website.

To register a tax agent or accountant for a Standard AUSkey, you'll need to register on the Australian Business Register (ABR) website.

You can now choose how you want to log in to manage your government business and tax details. Only AUSkey is available to register here on this Business registration form. To find out more about additional business login options, expand the "Additional logins" tab below.

Additional logins

You can now choose how you want to log in to manage your government business and tax details.

You can use your AUSkey or one of the login options below:

  • Manage ABN connections
    If you have a MyGov login, you can link your ABNs to your MyGov account. This means you can then use your MyGov account to manage your ABN details.
  • Online or 'cloud' tax software
    You can now use eligible online or 'cloud' accounting, bookkeeping or payroll software to process certain government tax forms.

Please note: the login options above are for specific tax paperwork. You'll still need to use either your AUSkey or ASIC connect login to:

  • manage business name details or renewals
  • submit tax forms through 'SBR-enabled' accounting, bookkeeping or payroll desktop software.

Visit the MyGov website to find out more about the Manage ABN Connections option.

Find out more about the online or 'cloud' software service on the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website.

Need more help? Contact us via business.gov.au or call 13 28 46.

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