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Searching ABN Lookup

ABN Lookup automatically recognises whether your search text is a name or number (ABN or ACN/ARBN/ARSN) even if you have embedded spaces.

The most efficient way to search is by ABN or ACN/ARBN/ARSN. Although a search for an ABN will generally return only one result, on rare occasions an ABN may be re-issued.

Searching by name will generally return multiple results ordered by relevance. Each match is awarded a score based on how closely it matches the search criteria. The best results are achieved by entering as much of the name as you know. For example, searching for Department of Innovation will return a much better result than entering just Innovation.

Name Search results are displayed in two tabs.

  • The Active ABNs tab lists matching names where the both the name and ABN are active.
  • The All ABNs tab lists all matching names.
  • Active ABNs are highlighted with a green dot.

Click on the ABN to see the ABN details.

The name search is fairly tolerant of spelling mistakes – e.g. searching on Australian Electral Commission will find Australian Electoral Commission. The name search also recognises common abbreviations, spelling variations and nickname. For example Qld is equivalent to Queensland.

Quick search

Quick search is located in the top right corner of each screen. To use Quick search:

  • enter an ABN, ACN, ARBN, ARSN or name
  • click the 'Search' button to display the results.

Advanced search

Use Advanced Search to refine the results returned by a name search. For example, you can choose options to:

Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) search option

Use the Deductible Gift Recipients (DGR) option to search for entities registered as Deductible Gift Recipients. You can search by name or for DGR entities within a postcode. To use the DGR search option:

  • select Advanced search in the left-hand navigation bar
  • enter a postcode and/or the name you are searching for
  • select the Deductible gift recipients (DGR) option
  • click on Search to display the results.

DGR search results are displayed in two tabs.

  • The Active ABNs tab lists matching names where the both the name and ABN are active.
  • The All ABNs tab lists all matching names.
  • Active ABNs are highlighted with a green dot.

Click on the ABN to see the ABN details.

Note:

  • Search within a Postcode returns a list of DGR entities endorsed in their own right followed by entities that operate DGR funds. Within each group, the list is sorted alphabetically.
  • Search by Name returns a list of matching names in order of relevance.

Charity tax concessions search option

Use the Charity tax concessions option to search for entities registered for charity tax concessions. You can search by name or for entities within a postcode. To use the Charity tax concessions search option:

  • select Advanced search in the left-hand navigation bar
  • enter a postcode and/or the name you are searching for
  • select the Charity tax concessions option
  • click on Search to display the results.

Charity tax concessions search results are displayed in two tabs.

  • The Active ABNs tab lists matching names where the both the name and ABN are active.
  • The All ABNs tab lists all matching names.
  • Active ABNs are highlighted with a green dot.

Click on the ABN to see the ABN details.

Note:

  • Search within a Postcode returns a list sorted alphabetically by name
  • Search by Name returns a list of matching names in order of relevance.

Name type search option

Use the Name type option to filter search results by the following name types:

  • Entity name:
    • the name that appears on all official documents or legal papers
    • an entity only ever has one current entity name
  • Trading name:
    • the name under which an entity trades
    • a trading name may be registered or may be any other name by which an entity is known
    • an entity may have more than one current trading name
    • trading names collected prior to 28 May 2012 will continue to be displayed in ABN Lookup until Nov-2018, but can no longer be updated - see trading name help
  • Business name:
    • business names are registered with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) - for more information visit the ASIC website External site
    • an entity may have more than one current business name

Statistical query

Use the Statistical query to report quantitative information about ABNs by location, status and type. For example, use the Statistical query to report on the:

  • total number of ABNs by state, postcode, or entity type
  • number of active ABNs by state, postcode, or entity type
  • number of ABNs currently registered for GST by state, postcode, or entity type
  • number of new registrations for a given year grouped by month or entity type for any state or postcode.

To use the Statistical query:

  • select 'Statistical query' from the left-hand navigation bar
  • select required state/territories or enter a postcode
  • for new registrations only, tick the 'New Registrations' checkbox and select year of registration from the drop down list
  • for active ABNs only, tick the 'Count currently active ABNs only' check box
  • for ABNs currently registered for GST, tick the 'Count ABNs currently registered for GST only' check box
  • to order results by entity type, tick the 'Group results by entity type' check box - default is to group by state/territory
  • click the 'Search' button to display the results

If the default option to group results to by state is selected, you may see a column labelled 'Other' in the results. This includes ABN records where the state is blank or is not an Australian state/territory.

Search again option

Because of the number of names in the database some searches, especially single word searches, may not complete within a reasonable period. If this happens, you will be given the option to search again using a 'narrow' search. A narrow search will always return fewer records because the matching process is stricter. For example, a typical search for Department will find:

  • Department Pty Ltd
  • Department Company
  • Department of agriculture
  • Department of education
  • Department of environment
  • Department of health, etc

Whereas a 'narrow' search will only find:

  • Department Pty Ltd
  • Department Company

Search results

When you search ABN Lookup you will generally see one of the following results:

  • a list of matching ABNs/Names if more than one record matches your search criteria
  • ABN details if only one record matches your search criteria
  • an Exception message if the search text is an invalid ABN or ACN etc
  • summary information if you used the statistical search.

If more than one record matches your search criteria, a list of matching names is displayed. The list is limited to the first 200 records ordered by relevance. Up to 20 records are displayed on each search results page. Click the page numbers to scroll through additional pages.

The following information displayed for each matching record:

  • ABN
    • click on the ABN link to view the 'Current Details' page for the ABN
  • ABN status
    • will be either 'Active' or 'Cancelled'
  • Name
    • if the name is no longer current for the ABN it is displayed as '(Historic)' and will appear on the 'Historical Details' page for the ABN
  • Name type
    • Entity Name, Business Name, etc
  • State and postcode of the main business location

Name Search results are displayed in two tabs.

  • The Active ABNs tab lists matching names where the both the name and ABN are active.
  • The All ABNs tab lists all matching names.
  • Active ABNs are highlighted with a green dot.

At times, the order in which search results are displayed may seem a little strange. This is because of the way in which matching records are 'scored'. If the matching record has fewer words than the search criteria, the score is reduced. If the matching record has more words than the search criteria, the score is also reduced.

Results are listed with the highest scoring matches first. Records that score the same are listed alphabetically within that score.

The search cannot distinguish when the letters TA represent initials and when they represent an abbreviation for Trading As. Therefore if you search for say XYZ, the following will all appear as an exact match:

  • abc & mn & fred & ta xyz
  • xyz TA mno
  • XYZ

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