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Licences and registrations

Be clear on what you need for your business.

On this page

  • Learn which licences and registrations are applicable to your situation
  • Apply for the relevant licences and registrations


Use the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS), a one-stop tool to help you find all the local, state and federal licences, registrations and permits you need.  

Small Business Festival Victoria (1-31 August)

Hundreds of events and workshops for start-ups from 1-31 August. Find out more here.  

What do you need for your business?


Australian Business Number (ABN)
Individual Tax File Number (TFN)
Business Tax File Number (TFN)
Pay As You Go (PAYG) Withholding
Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT)
Sole trader
Yes
Yes
No
No
No
Sole trader with employees
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes, if providing benefits to staff
Partnership/trust/company without employees
Yes
No
Yes
No
No
Partnership/trust/company with employees Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes, if providing benefits to staff
 

Do I need to register for Goods and Services Tax (GST)?

You must register for GST if you are a business and:

  • your current/expected annual turnover is $75,000 or more (or $150,000 or more for a non-profit organisation) and/or
  • you provide taxi travel (regardless of turnover).


Apply for your registrations

1. If you are a sole trader, apply for an individual TFN if you don't already have one. Apply for a business TFN if you are a partnership, trust or company.

2. Apply for an ABN, GST, PAYG withholding, FBT, business name and AUSkey in one application with the Australian Business Register (ABR).

If you are unclear what business structure is right for you, use our Step-By-Step: Choose the right business structure to help.

Add or cancel a registration

To make a change:

Know your registrations

Tax File Number (TFN)

A tax file number (TFN) is a unique nine-digit number ATO issues to individuals and organisations to help administer tax and other Australian Government systems. ATO only issues one TFN to you during your lifetime, even if you change your circumstances.

Australian Business Number (ABN) 

Businesses use this as a key identifying number when they deal with the Australian Tax Office (ATO). Having an ABN helps you to claim back goods and services tax credits, provide fringe benefits to your employees, ask for fuel tax credits and deal with other businesses more easily.

You can also avoid having amounts withheld from payments to you - your business clients must withhold 46.5% of any payments they make to you if you don't quote an ABN.

To be entitled to an ABN, you must be either:

Pay As You Go (PAYG) withholding 

You must register for this if you will be deducting tax from employee wages 

This is different to the PAYG system where you report your business and investment income in your quarterly Business Activity Statement (BAS). There is also employee pay roll tax to consider.

Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT)

You must register for Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT) if you provide employee or director fringe benefits

These could include, for example,

  • onsite accommodation
  • private use of the work car
  • health insurance.