In short, as a business you’ll need an ABN to operate in the GST system and to avoid having withholding tax of 49% retained from payments to you, for not quoting an ABN.
An ABN is also useful for other businesses to identify your business and confirm details (the ABN Lookup tool is fabulous)…and you’ll need an ABN if you want to register for the AUSkey we discussed earlier in the week.
With regards to the question “How many ABN’s can I have?” – the simple answer is ONE!
ONE per entity that is – so each individual, trust, company or partnership is entitled to only one ABN (and if you cancel your ABN and then re-apply at later date…you’ll be issued with the same number).
Having said that – if any of these entities are registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST) and operate more than one business, they may be able to register for a GST Branch.
A GST Branch is a three digit number attached to the end of your ABN and allows you to report your GST obligations for each branch separately.
As always there are a few conditions required to be met to use a GST Branch, if you would like more information, go to the Contact page!