Jun 14 2022
Jun 14 2022

ABN vs ACN: What's the Difference?

ACN and ABN are two terms you need to know if you want to start a business in Australia. Below you can find what these terms mean and how you can obtain them. If you are about to put a business plan for your future project and need to know all the procedures required from you to launch this business, this article will help you. Namecorp, along with being experts in business name registration in Australia, offers you more guiding information about the ACN and the ABN.

An ACN is a number issued by ASIC (the Australian Securities & Investments Commission) to companies. The ABN is a nine-digit number, and the ACN is a 12 digit number. Both numbers are needed when setting up a business account, registering for GST, and other business dealings with the ATO or ASIC.

Here, you will find all the information you need to start your business in Australia. 

What is an ACN?

Remember: The ACN is the Australian Company Number. 

You will find it on your business cards and on the footer of your invoices. Its primary use is for companies that wish to engage in business with other companies. It is also required to register Australian companies under the Financial Transaction Reports Act 1988. The ACN is particularly useful for companies operating on a larger scale.

An ACN or Australian Company Number is a unique identifier assigned to all Pty Ltd companies in Australia. An ACN stands for Australian Company Number, assigned to all Pty Ltd (Proprietary Limited Companies) published by ASIC Australian Securities and Investments Commission. As a Pty Ltd company, the ACN is specific to your business, so it's essential to give it a unique name. Namecorp can make sure this ACN complies with regulations for a smooth startup.

What is an ABN?


An ABN or Australian Business Number is a unique identifier assigned to all businesses in Australia. You'll need an ABN to complete an Australian tax return or open a business bank account. It can also be used when applying for an Australian business licence.

Registering for an ABN is a simple and quick process. Once you've registered, you'll have a unique business number valid for five years. It comprises a twelve-digit number found on all business cards, invoices, and payment summaries.

First, you need to register your business with the Australian Taxation Office to apply for an ABN. Once registered, you can apply for an ABN. There are different ABN requirements for businesses, depending on whether they are located in Australia or overseas. ABN requirements: sole traders, partnerships and trusts situated in Australia A sole trader, partnership or trust located in Australia with a business name that does not contain the name of an incorporated company and does not have an ABN will need to register for an ABN.

You can only use an ABN for business-related activities, and it must be quoted on all documents. You should have a separate ABN even if you use your name. A company can be lodged simultaneously as registering a business name, and Namecorp will handle and finalise this process for you at an ideal time.

It is possible to apply for an ABN and ACN simultaneously. However, the process can take up to 6 weeks, during which time you will only be able to use an ABN.

  • What information is required when you register a business name? 

  • To register your business name, you will need to provide the following information to the government: 

  • The name of your business 

  • Your business address 

  • Your business' Australian Company Number (ACN) 

  • The date that the name was registered. What information should you give in your Business Plan?

It's essential to ensure your company details are up to date, so you don't run into any problems. If you miss an annual renewal, you may be deregistered, essentially losing your ACN. In such cases, we have seen companies revert to their ABN. If you don't do this, your company will be deregistered, and your ABN details will be cancelled.

Register Your ABN

What is a Tax File Number?


A Tax File Number (TFN) is a unique ten-digit number that identifies taxpayers to the Australian Taxation Office. It differentiates between individuals with the same name and protects against identity theft. You can get a Tax File Number from the Australian Taxation Office. A Tax File Number is essential for getting a job in Australia, applying for various government benefits and services, and setting up a business. It is also needed to file tax returns, access banking, and set up services for phone, internet, and utility companies.

A TFN must be quoted for many activities, for example, claiming tax deductions for rental property, where tax must be withheld. Tax can also be withheld when an employer pays a team member a lump sum exceeding $10,000. By quoting a TFN, the tax will only be withheld on the amount exceeding the withholding threshold. The tax will be withheld on the entire payment without a TFN quoted.

Namecorp can help you with business name registration.

If you want to register your business in Australia, Namecorp can help you with your business name search or company name registration. Namecorp works with ASIC and the Australian Government to quickly register your business name through our web-based business registration software, ASIC eBiz.

Register Your Business Name Here

Where can I find my ABN/ACN details if I've lost them? 

To find your Australian Business Number (ABN), use the Australian Government's ABN Lookup website. You must include your full name or company documents to search for your ABN. To find your Australian Company Number (ACN), use ASIC Connect, the official company record management service provided by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).

Our Namecorp business experts have decades of experience working with ASIC and the Australian Government. If you're an Australian business looking to get your business name registered, we can help you get it done quickly, smoothly, and with no messy paperwork. 

Having the correct name is crucial for your business. But let's face it – registering a name with ASIC is a bureaucratic nightmare. Don't get stuck in red tape. Download our free guide to earning your business name registered with ASIC here.

Finding your ABN & ACN details is easy. But if you can't find them, we can help.

"Namecorp helped me register my brand in a matter of days, and I'd recommend them to anyone looking for business registration services."