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Things No One Tells You About Starting A Business: How To Register For An ABN & Business Name

Register ABN and Business Name by Seven Sands

When I first started my own business I honestly had no idea what I was doing, I was just feeling my way through it, “winging it”.

This is what I’m using my blog for, to help other women start their own businesses. I am using it to share the steps I took to start my business and what I do now to make it grow and attract clients. My previous posts have covered creating a business idea, choosing a business name and registering your websites domain name. Today, we are moving onto the next steps registering your Australian Business Number (ABN) and registering your business name.

Before moving on, I just wanted to mention that Seven Sands is based in Australia, so if you are based in another country this may not apply to you.

I read quite a few blogs from other entrepreneurs/small business owners since I started planning my business and no one ever really mentioned that I should register for an ABN and a business name until my mum mentioned it one evening.

Registering for ABN

It is not compulsory to register for an ABN but is it highly recommended. Getting an ABN is free, and can make running your business easier in the future, particularly if you have to register for other taxes. For example, if you need to register for Goods and Services Tax (GST) now or in the future, you’ll need an ABN first.

Without an ABN, other businesses must withhold 49% from payments they make to you for tax purposes.

You will also need an ABN or be in the process of applying for an ABN before you can register a business name.

To make this whole process easier the Australian Government has created a website where you can register for an ABN and your business name at the same time. You will find the process below.

Registering a Business Name

Before we begin, you will not need to register a business name if:

  • Your business name is your name, your first name and surname e.g. Claire Sempf
  • Your business is partnership and is using all of the partners’ names. E.g. Claire Sempf, Jo Blogs

When I first started designing websites I worked under my own name because 1. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to work under a business name or my name and 2. To save $$.

If you fall out of these guidelines you will need to register your business name with ASIC.

Applying for a business name costs $34 AUD for one year or $79 for three years.

As mentioned previously you will need an ABN before registering your business name, you can register these together, if you already have a ABN you can register your business name on the ASIC website.

How to register your ABN and Business Name at the same time

For this tutorial I am assuming you are just starting your business and haven’t registered your ABN.

  1. Visit the Business Registration Service Website
  2. Select your registrations from the list shown
    Note: You will notice a list of additional registrations. You do not need to register for GST unless your business has a turnover of $75,000 or more.
  3. Sign up for an account and follow the prompts.

Have any questions about the topics covered in this post? Please post your questions/comments below or feel free to contact me directly on claire@sevensands.com.au.

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