Registering your business for tax
Try the Australian Government's new Business Registration Service to use a single form to apply for key business and tax registrations, including an ABN, business name, goods and services tax (GST), pay as you go (PAYG) withholding and fringe benefits tax.
You need to consider your tax requirements and register your business with the Business Registration Service or the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Which taxes you pay will depend on the type of business you run and the number of employees you have.
Australian business number (ABN)
An ABN is a unique 11-digit number that identifies your business to the ATO and other areas of government. It lets you:
- lodge business activity statements
- confirm your business identity to others when ordering and invoicing
- claim GST credits
- claim energy grants credits
- register an Australian domain name.
ABN registration is not mandatory. Your business can trade without an ABN, but any businesses you deal with may withhold 46.5% of their payments to you (i.e. the current top marginal tax rate) and pay this amount to the ATO.
Learn more about registering for an ABN.
Fringe benefits tax (FBT)
If you provide certain benefits to your employees or to people associated with your employees, you may be liable to pay FBT. If so, you must register for FBT with the Business Registration Service or the ATO and lodge a return each year.
Learn more about fringe benefits tax.
Goods and services tax (GST)
GST is a tax of 10% on most goods and services sold or consumed in Australia. You must register for GST if:
- your gross annual business turnover is $75,000 or more ($150,000 or more for a non-profit organisation)
- you provide taxi or limousine services - regardless of your gross annual turnover.
Learn more about GST.
Pay as you go (PAYG)
PAYG is a system that allows you to pay your expected tax liability in instalments. The ATO will notify you of your PAYG obligations.
Learn more about PAYG, including your responsibilities as an employer.
- Apply for an ABN online with the Business Registration Service or Australian Business Register.
- Read about tax basics for business.
- Find out about record keeping for business.
- Watch the ATO's tax-related business webinars.
- Use the Australian Securities and Investments Commission's (ASIC) MoneySmart GST calculator.