How to apply for an ABN in minutes

February 20, 2024
minutes to read
Justin Bohlmann
Table of Contents

An Australian Business Number (ABN) is a unique number required to operate a business within Australia. It's essential for most business activities, including opening a business bank account, registering for GST, claiming certain tax concessions and credits, and paying staff. When applying for an ABN, it's essential you do it right. This blog will explain what's involved and provide tips for getting an ABN in minutes.


The first step in registering an ABN is ensuring you meet the eligibility requirements. To meet the criteria for getting an ABN, you must be carrying on an active business in Australia. This means you must have started trading or started tangible activities to start a business. If you are providing services as an employee or undertaking activities as a hobby, an ABN is not required.

Application Details

You'll need to provide information about your business name, contact details, and Tax File Number (TFN) to apply for an ABN. Ensure you have all the correct information ready so you can lodge your application without any inaccuracies.

Application Fees

The next step is to submit your application form online through the Australian Business Register (ABR). Applying for an ABN is free if you register yourself. If you prefer to DIY your application, go to the ABR site here:

If you would prefer some support to ensure you lodge the correct information and have the right structure for your business, then never fear, for Thriday is here. Thriday provides a registration service via POP Business that you can access here:

Upon submission of your application, you will receive an email with a reference number that you can use to track your application progress.

Processing Times

Most ABN applications are processed in minutes, provided all the correct information is lodged. Sometimes, if you do not provide sufficient details or there are inaccuracies with your application, it can take longer. In most instances, the ABR aims to assess all applications within 28 days.

Rejected Applications

If your application is rejected, you will receive a refusal number. This number can be used to request a review if you believe the reason for your rejection was invalid or there was a misunderstanding.

Receiving your ABN

Once your application is processed, you will receive your 11-digit ABN immediately. The number will be provided on-screen, via email, and a letter will also be sent to your address. This letter will also contain your customer reference number (CRN), which you will need when dealing with government agencies and businesses.

Using your ABN  

Once you have received your ABN, you can use it immediately for business purposes. This includes applying for a business bank account, getting an EFTPOS terminal, and quoting your ABN on invoices, contracts and other documents relating to your business dealings.

If you have an ABN, you can now sign up for Thriday. Thriday is an all-in-one financial management solution that reduces the time business owners waste on financial admin. Thrive automates banking, accounting and tax by using AI in a similar way to ChatGPT. Using advanced algorithms, Thriday can determine what activity is happening on your account and predict your tax and cash flow positions. You can sign up for a free trial here.


What is an ABN?

An ABN stands for Australian Business Number. It is a unique 11-digit identifier that is assigned to businesses operating in Australia by the Australian Business Register (ABR).

Who needs an ABN?

Most businesses operating in Australia are required to have an ABN. This includes sole traders, partnerships, companies, trusts, and other organisations carrying on an enterprise in Australia.

How do I apply for an ABN?

To apply for an ABN, visit the Australian Business Register website and complete the online application form. You will need to provide information about your business, such as its name, address, and type of activity.

Is there a fee to apply for an ABN?

No, there is no fee to apply for an ABN. However, some businesses may be required to register for other taxes or licenses with associated fees.

What are the benefits of having an ABN?

Having an ABN provides several benefits, including registering for and remitting Goods and Services Tax (GST), claiming business-related expenses as tax deductions, and transacting with other businesses that require an ABN.

How long does it take to get an ABN?

You will usually receive your ABN immediately after submitting your application online. However, in some cases, the ABR may require additional information or documentation before processing your application, which may result in a delay.

Do I need to renew my ABN?

No, you do not need to renew your ABN. However, you must keep your details up to date and notify the ABR of any changes to your business information, such as changes to your address or business structure.

You can only run a valid business in Australia with an ABN. It's essential for nearly everything you need to do – from opening a business bank account, claiming tax concessions and credits, registering for GST and invoicing clients. By having all the correct information handy, applying online, and keeping a record of your ABN for safekeeping, the whole process can be over in minutes, and you can get your new business off the ground.

DISCLAIMER: Team Thrive Pty Ltd ABN 15 637 676 496 (Thriday) is an authorised representative (No.1297601) of Regional Australia Bank ABN 21 087 650 360  AFSL 241167 (Regional Australia Bank).  Regional Australia Bank is the issuer of the transaction account and debit card available through Thriday. Any information provided by Thriday is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether Thriday is appropriate for you.

Why waste time on financial admin when Thriday can do it for you?

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