Once you landed on this page, I assume you have at least some knowledge about ABN. And for some reason, you don’t want to register your business with an ABN (Australian Business Number).

But that’s not the point here. Do you want to just know if it can be done or not? Deal close, right?

If you are looking for a magic answer, it’s going to disappoint you.

It is not possible to register any typical business without an ABN. You will need to have an Australian Business Number ABN to apply for the Australian Business Register (ABR).

Getting an ABN number can be easy but ranking first in Google search might not be. Contact our Melbourne SEO consultants today to help you skyrocket your business.

It’s free to register for Australian Business Number (ABN) & you don’t need to pay extra taxes to have it. And, it’s a matter of going through a few papers works. ABN is one way to understand the owner running the business. It is the process that the Australian Government implies to identify the business for Goods and services tax & other tax registrations. However, if your business goes to insolvency, you won’t be required to have costs for having an ABN.

If it was before 28th May 2012, you could have gotten away without registering to an Australian Business Name. However, things have changed and everything is done on the national level. Even the old businesses that ran without it need to register for the name. You can even see the publicly available information from the ABN Lookup website.

Unless you are working on a hobby, or freelance service, you must have an ABN to run a business under a name.

Now, coming down to the core of everything.

How do you register a business name?

There are a few steps involved in registering your business name. Once you have finalised all the business details, mainly your business structure and the ABN details, you can proceed to apply for an ABN and business name for your organisation. You need to be entitled to apply for an Australian Business Number so that you can register your business name.

Let’s go through the process:

Step 1: Understand your business operations, structure if you are a sole trader or partnership business and details like tax file number, registration period, business name, Australian Business Number ABN and address.

Step 2: Go to the ASIC website and register a business name using ASIC connect.

Step 3: Make payment and confirm the transaction.

Understand the module of operation


Define the operation module. Are you going to run the business alone? Or, do you have a partner? Are you going to register it as a sole trader under your name, or your partner’s name? If you are using your name, you don’t need to register a business name.

However, if you are registering under a brand name, you need to register it. Every registration is monitored and circulated through ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission). If you are running a business under a company, you have the option of having a unique number under ACN(Australian Company Number).

Get An ABN Via Australian Business Register Website

You will need ABN to register your business name. ABN relates your business to the government, taxes, and other legal aspects. You can start your ABN application for free by registering through the Australian Business Register website.

Choosing a Business Name

Choosing a business name is certainly challenging and it may take some time to come up with the perfect one. A business name is an official trading name which should correctly represent your business to your customers and audience. Some of the things you might want to keep in mind are branding, relevant to your service/products and customer perspective. Also, check if other businesses have been using similar names.

Business Name Availability

After deciding on some options for your business name, you can check if the name is available or already taken by other businesses. If you want to check your Business Name Availability, you can do it online via the ASIC Connect Search and go to Business names. You can simply enter your business name and view if the name is available to use.

Register a Business Name


Before you start the registration process, make a list of 5 suitable names. Why? Because it’s most likely that your name has been taken already. Every registration work in Australia is done under ASIC. However, before you apply it you should have an ABN, or be in the process of having one. Once you have the ABN, you can apply it through ASIC online application. Once you register with ASIC, the data is saved nationally.

Australian Business Name Registration Cost & Duration


If you have an ABN, filling up the application shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes. After you have paid the business name registration fee which is $35 as 1-year service fee as of Feb 9, 2023. You will get the confirmation notification within two business days. You can pay via multiple payment options. If you do not pay the registration charge within 10 days, your application process will be cancelled.

Also, we suggest you estimate your small business cost before applying for anything. Why? Because most businesses in Australia fail due to underestimating the cost of capital.

Securing and Renewing a Business Name


Just doing business registrations for new business names and ABN doesn’t prohibit others from using a similar name that trades similar types of goods and services. You can opt for a registered trademark that ensures that your brand name isn’t manipulated. To renew your business name, ASIC will send a notification within 2 months of the expiry date.

Trademark has huge importance when it comes to protecting your business name from a legal point of view. Other additional forms of securing your name can include copyright and patent registrations.

Domain and Website for Small Businesses

Now, you know what you need to do to get your new business registered in Australia. You might be wondering, what’s the next step to get your business activities online now?

It’s not that complicated.

Once you have your ABN application process completed, you can go to any Domain and web hosting provider to register your domain for your business.

It can involve some technical steps though. If you are not sure how to get register a domain and build a effective website for your small business, please reach out to us. We specialise in small business website design services.


So, what we know now is it’s merely impossible to register a name without the ABN. However, registering a business name isn’t as hard as it looks on paper. If you are having a hard time figuring it out, you can always consult an advisor for suggestions.

Also, see our Complete Guide on Website Design and Development Costs in Australia in 2023.


What is ABN and why do I need it?

Australian Business Number ABN is the unique identifier for your business. The government identifies your organisation through this number for tax and compliance purposes. You as an Australian business need ABN for various reasons like tax registrations in the Australian Taxation Office, claiming tax credits, GST credits, energy grants credits, getting an Australian domain name and getting additional services tax benefits.

ABN is a means for the government to track your business and it also makes life easier for customers as well. You can use the ABN lookup tool to search for a business name with an ABN number. If you are a B2B organisation, you may require ABN to perform general transactions with other businesses as well.

How long does it take to get an ABN?

Generally, your ABN application process takes some weeks after you submit and get your application approved. The registration process is simple and it should not take more than 15-20 minutes to complete the application.

However, if the Australian Taxation Office finds out any errors or requires additional information to approve your application, it might take more than usual to get your ABN. Please note that you should check if you are eligible to get an ABN before applying for ABN. If you are not entitled to get an ABN, you may be punished by the law.

Do I need ABN to register a business name?

Yes, you will need ABN to register your business name. You will need to sign up for ABN name which is free and you can do this online on the Australian Government’s Business Registration website.

What is the difference between Australian Business Number and business name?

ABN is the unique identifier for your business provided by the government which is used by government and private organisations like the Australian Taxation Office. You need to get your ABN details before you can register your business name. A registered business name is the unique name of your organisation that is recognised by the government and the general public. You can register ABN and business name from the ASIC website.

Does a company need to register for an ABN and business name?

You can check if you are eligible to apply for an ABN and business name on the Australian Government’s Business Registration website. After you confirm your eligibility, you will need to finalise various identity details before you start the registration process. ABN and business name are registered in two separate methods but both are pretty simple and straightforward. You may also need these for future business registrations.

Do I have to pay tax if I have an ABN?

ABN does not grant you freedom from your duty to pay taxes. In fact, ABN makes it easier for you and government to implement a tax system and makes you obliged to pay taxes. However, it may help you get several tax benefits and credits instead. The income or services tax you pay is directly related to your business and its other aspects like revenue, profit and income. You may need to consult the taxation office or a finance professional for any tax-related issues.

How do I register for an ABN?

The ABN registration process is simple and easy. But you will need some of your details in order to register for ABN. Follow these steps to register your business for an ABN.

  • Collect required information: You will need some information to fill out the application including the Tax file number, business structure and basic company details.
  • Apply via the website: You can apply for an ABN online through the Australian Government’s Business Registration website.
  • Wait for Approval: After submitting the application, it takes about 4 weeks to receive approval.

Once, your application is reviewed and approved you will get your ABN. You can check the status of your application with ABN lookup. If they require additional documents for approval or if your application contains errors, you may need to reapply or submit additional documents. Businesses generally require additional information and documents regarding their operations and legalities to get an ABN.

Is ABN free?

Yes, ABN registration is free. But you have to qualify to get an ABN. But there might be other additional costs while starting your business like registering for goods and services tax, services tax or even registering a business name.

What should I do if my business details change?

If your business details change, you should update certain details of your business in ABN details. You may also contact Australian Taxation Office or a related professional consultant for more information. Some of the changes like changes in business structure or business associates replacement might require you to reapply for a new ABN.

How to change registered ABN?

You can change your registered ABN details you can do so by visiting the Australian Business Register website. This ensures the government has updated information about your business. If for some reason, you are not able to access the update details page online, you can directly contact Australian Business Register.