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What's the difference between an ACN and an ABN?

Chances are you've found us via Google. Why? Well, as the original accounting office for small business, this is the most commonly asked question by small businesses. To receive further clarification on the answer below, our Senior Partner, John Corias, is more than happy to help you on 02 9211 5000.

An ACN (Australian Company Number) is issued by the ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission) to all new companies registered in Australia to facilitate the monitoring of those companies and also to give them a unique identity code within the structure of the Corporations Law of Australia. Only a company can be issued with an ACN.

An ABN (Australian Business Number) is a unique number issued by the ATO (Australian Taxation Office) to all entities that are in business. If an entity is trading as a business, no matter how large or small, they must apply to the ATO to acquire an ABN and must show that ABN on any invoices they issue. The ATO will then automatically issue a unique eleven digit number.

It is not necessary for an entity that has an ABN to be registered for GST if their annual turnover or income does not exceed $75,000.00. Confusion often arises between the two numbers due to the fact that the ATO will use the ACN as the basis for a company's ABN. A company's ABN will always consist of their ACN with a two-digit pre-fix. As mentioned, if you want further clarification, call our Senior Partner, John Corias, on 02 9211 5000.

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