Web services response

The ABN Lookup web services return a payload containing the original request and the search response. Depending on the request and the outcome, the body of the response contains one of the following:

For more information refer to the ABN Lookup web services schema (18 KB ZIP).

Business entity

Important: We recommend that you avoid use of trading names as these have not been updated since 2012 and will be retired in 2018.

The Search by ABN and Search by ASIC methods return a Business entity. Below is a summary of the important rules associated with a Business entity.

  • Broadly speaking, a Business entity is either an individual or a non-individual
  • With the exception of the ABN and ABN status, all attributes are optional.
    • This is to handle suppressed ABN details.
    • The only information available on ABN Lookup for suppressed ABNs is the ABN, ABN status and GST and charity tax concession registrations
  • There are 8 possible name types returned by the web services:
    • Legal Name – individuals only
    • Main Name – non-individuals only
    • Business Name – introduced May 2012
    • Main Trading Name
      • Important: trading names have not been updated since 2012 and will be retired in 2018
    • Other Trading Name
      • Important: trading names have not been updated since 2012 and will be retired in 2018
    • DGR Name (Deductible Gift Recipient)
    • PBI Employer Name (Public Benevolent Institution)
    • AWEF Name (Approved Worker Entitlement Fund)
  • In the case of an individual
    • There is either zero (if ABN details have been suppressed) or one current Legal Name
    • There is no limit to the number of historical Legal Names
    • An individual will never have a Main Name
    • All other name types are optional and there is no limit to the number they may have either currently or historically
  • In the case of a non-individual
    • There is either zero (if ABN details have been suppressed) or one current Main Name
    • There is no limit to the number of historical Main Names
    • A non-individual will never have a legal name
    • All other name types are optional and there is no limit to the number they may have either currently or historically

A summary of the relationship between name types and individuals/non-individuals for current and historical information is shown below.

Name types for Individuals
Name Type Current Historical
Legal name 0 or 1 0 - many
Main name n/a n/a
Business name 0 – many 0 – many
Main trading name 0 – 1 0 – many
Other trading name 0 – many 0 – many
DGR fund Name 0 - many 0 - many
PBIE Name 0 - many 0 - many
AWEFName 0 - many 0 - many
Name types for Non-individuals
Name Type Current Historical
Legal name n/a n/a
Main name 0 - 1 0 - many
Business name 0 - many 0 - many
Main trading name 0 – 1 0 – many
Other trading name 0 – many 0 – many
DGR fund Name 0 - many 0 - many
PBIE Name 0 - many 0 - many
AWEFName 0 - many 0 - many

Search results list

The Search By Name methods return zero or more matching names 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 more information see Search tips.

A matching record contains:

  • ABN and status
  • Matching name, current/historical indicator and match score
  • State and postcode of the main business location

ABN list

The Search with Filters methods return zero or more ABNs. As only the ABN is returned through the Search with Filters methods you will need to call the Search by ABN methods to retrieve the ABN details.

ABN test cases

The following table of ABNs are useful test cases as they represent some of the more extreme examples in the database.

ABN test cases
Description ABN
Suppressed ABN 34 241 177 887
Replaced ABN 30 613 501 612
Re-issued ABN 49 093 669 660
Multiple addresses 33 531 321 789
Multiple GST status 76 093 555 992
Multiple ABN status 53 772 093 958
Many name types 85 832 766 990
Main DGR status 56 006 580 883
DGR funds with historical names 78 345 431 247
Tax concession information 48 212 321 102
Superannuation fund 12 586 695 715

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