ABN vs Business Name
If you are in Australia and plan to do some business, it is vital to know the difference between ABN and ACN, which are legalities that need to be completed before starting a business. While ABN is the business number that is unique for every business running in Australia (whether big or small), ACN refers to Australia Company Number that is also unique for a business, and must be registered with the state authority where one desires to set up his business. As the acronym for Business Number is ABN, some used to confuse it for Australian Business Name. This article explains difference between ABN and business name and also their requirements and procedure to obtain them.
For one, it has to be understood that ABN is quite different from ACN, and both have different implications. For a business, it is ABN that is essential and not ACN, which is required if you are setting up a company. Another point of differentiation between ABN and ACN is that it is Australian Business Register that deals with ABN, while ACN (company number) is provided by Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).
There are a lot of variables and circumstances that require ABN or ACN, and it is prudent to take advice of an accountant or an attorney to know the exact requirements in your specific case. If you have got registered as a business you can make do with just ABN. There are agencies like Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and some other government agencies that identify your business with your ABN. In fact, it is ATO that grants ABN.
What many people do not know is that ABN includes ACN in it, as the last nine digits in ABN are the same as in ACN. If you are doing a business and have ABN, it indicates that you have been registered with ABR (Business Register) and all remittances and collections to ATO get streamlined and facilitated with this ABN.
Business name is what gives a unique identity and image to a business. Once customers start liking the services of a company, it is the name that gets spread around by these customers and generates more customers through word of mouth. Every state of Australia has got a Business Name Register, where registration of the name of a business is done. Registration is not permanent and one needs to renew the registration every 2-3 years. Though, your business gets a name that is valid, you are not protected from another person copying it unless you get a trademark for the name of your business.
Before ACN came into existence, authorities knew the company with its name which is not standardized and can make use of many characters. It was also problematical when two companies had same names but differed in one or two characters in their names. With ACN, frauds pertaining to name have been eliminated as different companies with similar names have been issued distinct ACN. Another purpose is served with ACN and that is the liberty to change the name of the company while retaining the same Australian Company Number (ACN).
What is the difference between ABN and Business Name?
• In Australia, every business needs to be registered with Australia Business Register that grants a unique ABN to the business. This number facilitates dealings with Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and many other government agencies.
• When a business is registered as a company, it needs to get an ACN, that is Australian Company Number. It is granted by ASIC (Australian Securities and Investment Commission).
• Every company is required to carry its ACN on its seals.
• ABN carries ACN as last nine digits