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How Long Does It Take to Register an ABN? Quick Guide:

Are you planning to start a business in Australia and wondering, “how long does it take to register an ABN?” Worry not! We’ve got you covered. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the entire ABN registration process, factors affecting processing time, and everything you need to know to get started on the right foot. Let’s dive in!



  1. Key Takeaways

  2. Understanding ABN Processing Timeframes

  3. Preparing for a Smooth ABN Registration

  4. The Role of the Australian Business Register (ABR)

  5. Additional Registrations Linked to ABN

  6. What to Do if Your ABN Application Is Delayed

  7. After You Receive Your ABN

  8. Navigating Government Agencies and Tax Registrations

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding the factors that influence ABN processing timeframes is essential for a successful registration experience.

  • Immediate processing can be achieved with complete and accurate information supplied during the application process.

  • Preparing all necessary documents prior to submission, verifying accuracy of ABN details through Lookup, and registering other business services simultaneously are key steps in navigating a smooth ABN registration process.

Understanding ABN Processing Timeframes

The processing time for obtaining an ABN primarily relies on the information provided during the application process. Under ideal conditions, most businesses can receive their ABN in a matter of minutes. However, delays may occur if additional information or documentation is required.

Understanding the factors that influence the ABN processing time is key to a seamless registration experience.

Immediate Processing under Ideal Conditions

Providing complete and accurate information is key to a speedy ABN registration. When all the necessary information is supplied, including the appropriate business structure, personal and business details, and tax information, the ABN application can be processed immediately. Avoiding common errors, such as incorrect details or mismatching information, will ensure your application is processed quickly and efficiently.

Potential Delays and Extended Processing

Delays in processing your ABN application can occur if there are inaccuracies or missing information. Incomplete information can lead to manual examination of the application, resulting in processing time of up to 28 business days.

Providing all required information accurately and fully is a proactive way to sidestep potential delays. By double-checking your application and ensuring all necessary information is provided, you can mitigate potential delays and enjoy the benefits of a timely ABN registration.

Confirmation and Communication Post-Submission

Once you’ve submitted your ABN application, expect the following:

  • Confirmation and communication via email or letter

  • Your 11-digit ABN

  • A customer reference number (CRN)

  • A letter outlining your registration details

It’s essential to keep your Australian company number readily available, as it will be required when engaging with government agencies, Australian securities, and businesses in Australia.

Preparing for a Smooth ABN Registration

Having all necessary documentation and information prepared before starting the ABN registration process is a wise approach. This will not only expedite the process but also help ensure a smooth registration experience.

We will now delve into why gathering the required documentation and providing accurate information are pivotal to the ABN registration process.

Gathering Necessary Documentation

Before starting to apply for an ABN, make sure to collect all required documents, such as your business name, contact details, and tax file number (TFN). Verify your preferred business name’s availability on the ASIC website and gather any other relevant documentation for your specific business structure. Don’t forget to have your ABN application form ready for submission.

Having these documents ready will make the ABN application process smoother and help you avoid any delays.

Understanding the Role of Accurate Information

Providing accurate information is crucial for a quick and successful ABN registration. Ensure that you supply all the necessary details, such as:

  • Your full name

  • Date of birth

  • Personal email

  • Business information, such as your business address and industry type

A meticulous review of your application for accuracy enhances the likelihood of a hassle-free ABN registration process.

The Role of the Australian Business Register (ABR)

The Australian Business Register (ABR) plays a vital role in ABN registration and verification. By acting as a central repository for business information, the ABR helps streamline the process of registering and managing ABNs.

This section covers instructions for navigating the ABR website for ABN registration and using ABN Lookup for verification.

Navigating the ABR Website for ABN Registration

To register for an ABN, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the Australian Business Register (ABR) website.

  2. Complete the online application form to complete the registration process.

  3. The ABR website offers various resources and information to guide you through the process, ensuring a seamless registration experience.

  4. Adhering to the steps listed on the ABR website will lead you closer to acquiring your ABN and launching your business venture.

Utilising ABN Lookup for Verification

Once your ABN is registered, you can verify its status using the ABN Lookup tool on the ABR website. This free tool allows you to search publicly available information about registered ABNs, including the business name, ABN status, and registration date.

Using ABN Lookup allows you to verify the accuracy and timeliness of your business information, thereby building trust with clients and other businesses.

Additional Registrations Linked to ABN

While obtaining your ABN is a crucial step in establishing your business, it’s essential to be aware of additional registrations that may be linked to your ABN, such as business name registration and tax registrations. These additional registrations can impact the processing time of your ABN application, so understanding how they work is crucial for a seamless registration experience.

Simultaneous Registrations and Their Impact on Timing

During the ABN application process, you can simultaneously register for other essential business services, such as registering a business name or tax registrations like GST and PAYG withholding. While simultaneous registrations may not directly affect the processing time of your ABN application, they can streamline the overall registration process and save you valuable time and effort.

Registering a Business Name with Your ABN

If you plan to register a business name, having an ABN is essential, as the application for a business name will be declined if an ABN is not present. You can register a business name during the ABN application process by utilising the Australian Government’s Business Registration Service.

This convenient service allows you to complete both business registrations and become a registered business in one go, simplifying the process and ensuring your business is set up for success.

What to Do if Your ABN Application Is Delayed

In some cases, your ABN application may encounter delays or require additional information. If this occurs, it’s important to know how to resolve the issue and get your application back on track.

This segment will cover how to check your application status online and reach out to the ABR for assistance.

Checking Application Status Online

To check the status of your ABN application online, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the Australian Business Register (ABR) website.

  2. Use the “Check the progress of an ABN application” service.

  3. Provide the relevant details and reference number to track the status of your application.

Regularly monitoring the progress of your application helps swiftly address any issues and prevents avoidable delays.

Contacting the ABR for Assistance

If your ABN application is delayed or requires further information, don’t hesitate to contact the Australian Business Register (ABR) for assistance. They can help you resolve any issues and provide guidance on the necessary steps to complete your application.

Remember to have your business details, ABN application reference number, and any applicable supporting documents on hand when contacting the ABR.

After You Receive Your ABN

Once you’ve successfully registered your ABN, you can start using it for various business activities and ensure that your business is compliant with Australian regulations. This section will cover how your ABN can be used for business activities and the significance of updating your ABN details as required.

Using Your ABN for Business Activities

After receiving your ABN, you can start using it for tasks such as opening a business bank account, obtaining an EFTPOS terminal, and quoting on invoices. Your ABN serves as a unique identifier for your business identity, making it easier for you to conduct transactions and interact with government agencies.

Keeping your ABN updated and accurate fosters trust with clients and other businesses.

Updating ABN Details When Necessary

It’s crucial to update your ABN details within 28 days of any changes to ensure accurate records. Failure to do so may result in penalties, which can range up to $12,600.

You can update your ABN details using the ABR online services. Just follow these steps:

  1. Log in with your myGovID and Relationship credentials.

  2. Navigate to the section for updating ABN details.

  3. Make the necessary changes to your information.

  4. Save the updated details.

Maintaining your ABN information up-to-date helps deter potential penalties and uphold your business’s reputation.

Navigating Government Agencies and Tax Registrations

Navigating government agencies and tax registrations is essential for businesses with an ABN. This section will elucidate the significance of myGovID and Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM) in securely accessing government online services, and the interaction between the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and your ABN.

The Importance of myGovID and RAM for Secure Access

MyGovID and RAM are used to securely access government online business services related to ABN registration and verification. By establishing your myGovID and RAM, you can efficiently manage your business authorisations, view and update your business information, and access participating government online services securely.

Correct setup of your myGovID and RAM is paramount for adherence to compliance and accessing vital government services.

How the ATO Interacts with Your ABN

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) interacts with your ABN for tax purposes and obligations, such as paying income tax, superannuation contributions, and GST. Understanding the relationship between the ATO and your ABN helps ensure your business meets its legal obligations and remains compliant.

Additionally, you can access your tax information, including goods and services tax as well as services tax, and manage your tax obligations through the ATO’s online services, streamlining your tax management processes.


In conclusion, obtaining an ABN is a crucial step in establishing your business in Australia. By understanding the factors affecting ABN processing time, preparing the necessary documentation, and navigating government agencies and tax registrations, you can ensure a smooth registration experience. With your ABN in hand, you’ll be well on your way to launching and growing your business in Australia. Remember to keep your ABN details up to date and maintain compliance to enjoy continued success.

Need some help with the ABN Process?

Look no further! Let the experts at Sleek take care of it for you. Not only will they handle your ABN registration with ease, but they can also assist you with your tax and accounting needs. Save yourself the hassle and get in touch with Sleek today. Visit this link to learn more and streamline the process.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to register an ABN Australia?

Registering an ABN in Australia is completely free, as long as you are entitled to one.

How do I get an ABN number in Australia?

You can register for an ABN through the online application form on either the Australian Business Register website or the Business Registration Service’s website. Before you begin, ensure you have identified your business structure and have proof of identity.

Do I need an ABN for a side hustle?

If you intend to open a business with your side hustle, registering your business name and obtaining an ABN (Australian Business Number) is essential. Having an ABN not only gives your venture legitimacy, but also allows you to claim tax deductions and access various government services. Registering for GST may be necessary too.

How long does it take to get an ABN?

Getting an ABN usually takes about 10 minutes online, or up to 28 days if manual verification is required. Upon successful application, your ABN will be received immediately and confirmation of the same will be sent within 14 days.

How long does it take to register an ABN under ideal conditions?

Under ideal conditions, it takes only a few minutes to register an ABN.

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Disclaimer: The information on this website is intended for general informational purposes only and may not be specifically relevant to everyone’s personal situation. It should not be considered financial advice or a substitute for professional tax or accounting advice. Each individual’s circumstances are unique, and laws can vary. For tailored advice, please consult a qualified professional. Contact Sleek for further information on how we can help you.

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