Current and historical view of ABN details
ABN Lookup provides access to the publicly available information about an ABN. This includes both current and historical information.
On the ABN details screen, use the 'Current details' tab to view current information only and the 'Historical details' tab to view
both current and historical details. For example, if an entity's name changes over time, the 'Current details' tab displays
the current entity name only whereas the 'Historical details' tab displays both the current and previous entity names.
ABN details available on ABN Lookup
ABN Lookup provides access to the publicly available information provided by businesses when they
register for an Australian Business Number (ABN). The information available on ABN Lookup is provided through the
A New Tax System (Australian Business Number) Act 1999
and is described in greater detail below.
ABN and ABN status
The ABN is a unique 11 digit identifier issued to all entities registered in the Australian Business Register (ABR).
An ABN can have a status of active or cancelled. A status of cancelled means the business has ceased trading.
Entity name refers to the name that appears on all official documents or legal papers.
The entity name may be different from the business name.
Entity type describes the entity associated with an ABN in terms of income tax, Australian business number (ABN)
and Goods and Services Tax (GST) legislation.
For more information see the list of
Entity types that appear on ABN Lookup.
Goods & Services Tax (GST) status
Goods & Services Tax (GST) is a broad-based tax of 10% on most goods, services or anything else for consumption in Australia.
The information in ABN Lookup indicates if and when an entity is registered for GST.
Main business location
Main business location consists of the state and postcode only.
The national business names registration service has replaced state and territory services, meaning you only need to
register your business name once with a single national register.
The new service commenced on 28 May 2012 and is managed and administered by the Australian Securities &
Investments Commission (ASIC).
If your business does not operate under your own entity name (e.g. GLM Pty Limited or Jane Smith),
you will need a registered business name.
To apply for a registered business name you will need to have (or be in the process of applying for)
an Australian business number (ABN). This is to assist with the identification of the entity behind a business name.
If you have registered a new business name with ASIC after 28 May 2012, ASIC will automatically update the
ABR and ABN Lookup with this information.
To register for, update or cancel a business name, you will need to go to the ASIC website.
In accordance with the law, as of 28 May 2012 the Australian Business Register (ABR) no longer collects or
updates trading names.
Trading names that were collected prior to 28 May 2012 will continue to be displayed in ABN Lookup and the ABR until
mid-2014, but can no longer be updated. This is to allow time for the business community to adjust to the new business
name system and to take steps to register a business name which may have previously been unregistered.
From mid-2014, ABN Lookup will cease displaying all trading names and only display registered business names.
You are still able to maintain a trading name with the ATO for taxation purposes. However, any updates will not be passed
to the ABR or ABN Lookup and will not be available to the community.
Tax concessions for charities and funds
ABN Lookup identifies institutions or funds established for a charitable purpose, namely:
- the relief of poverty or sickness or the needs of the aged
- the advancement of education
- the advancement of religion
- other purposes beneficial to the community
Organisations that are charities need to be endorsed by the ATO to access charity concessions
under the income tax, Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) and Goods and Services Tax (GST) laws.
Taxation concessions displayed on ABN Lookup are:
- Income Tax Exemption
- Goods and Services Tax (GST) concessions
- Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) rebate (capped to $30,000 per employee)
- Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) exemption (capped to $30,000 per employee)
For more information see
Tax concessions for charities and funds.
Approved worker entitlement fund
A worker entitlement fund is a fund for employee long service leave, sick leave or redundancy payments.
These funds are often referred to as redundancy trusts or redundancy funds. Although these funds operate in a variety of ways,
their purpose is to manage employee entitlements and provide portability and protection.
For more information see
Approved worker entitlement fund.
Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC)
The Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission (ACNC) commenced operation on 3 December 2012 as the independent national regulator of charities.
For more information see
Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC).
Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status
A Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) is entitled to receive income tax deductible gifts.
All DGRs have to be endorsed unless they are named specifically in the income tax law.
There are two types of DGR endorsement:
- Entities in their own right
- An entity that is only a DGR in relation to a fund, authority or institution it operates
For the second type, only gifts to the fund, authority or institution are tax deductible.
ABN Lookup also records DGR item numbers. Visit the
Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) page for more information.
An Australian Company Number (ACN) is a nine digit number allocated by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC)
when a body becomes registered as a company under Corporations Law.
An Australian Registered Body Number (ARBN) is a nine digit number allocated by ASIC when a body is registered
with them other than as a company, for example, foreign companies and registrable Australian bodies.
An Australian Registered Scheme Number (ARSN) is a nine digit number allocated by ASIC to manage investment schemes registered in Australia.
If an entity with an ABN has an associated ACN, ARBN or ARSN you can search ABN Lookup using that ACN, ARBN or ARSN.
Dates of effect
Most of the information recorded about an ABN is effective for a defined period.
- The From date is the date that the registration comes into effect.
- The To date is the date that a registration ceases to be effective. '(current)' in the To date column indicates the registration is current.
ABN last updated
The date that the ABN was last updated from the Australian Business Register (ABR) is displayed at the bottom left of the ABN details screen.
The date that the ABN record was extracted from ABN Lookup is displayed at the bottom right of the ABN details screen.