ABN holders FAQsVersion: 9.5

Why doesn't my ABN appear on ABN Lookup?

Your ABN (and/or Business Name) will automatically appear on ABN Lookup on the day it becomes active. However, if you contact ABN Lookup and advise us of your ABN, we can manually retrieve it from the Australian Business Register (ABR) External site prior to this date. It will then appear on the ABN Lookup website.

How do I update my ABN details?

The Australian Business Register (ABR) External site maintains the information available through ABN Lookup. For options on how to update your ABN details External site please visit the ABR website.

Only when the details have been updated on the ABR will the changes appear on ABN Lookup.

You are required by law to ensure your ABN details are kept up-to-date. You must notify the ABR of changes to your business details within 28 days.

As ABN Lookup does not have access to update ABN details please contact the ABR External site if you require further assistance.

How do I reactivate/cancel my ABN?

The Australian Business Register (ABR) External site maintains the information available through ABN Lookup and is responsible for cancelling and issuing ABNs.

  • To re-apply for (reactivate) your ABN:
    • If your ABN has been cancelled, you will need to re-apply for an ABN. Please refer to keeping the ABR up-to-date External site on the ABR website for more information.
    • Only when you have been issued with an ABN, will it show as 'active' on ABN Lookup.
  • To cancel your ABN
    • You must inform the Australian Business Register (ABR) if you have ceased trading or your business has been sold. Please refer to cancel your ABN External site on the ABR website for more information.
    • Only when your ABN has been cancelled on the ABR will it show as 'cancelled' on ABN Lookup.

As ABN Lookup cannot cancel or issue an ABN, please contact the ABR External site for further assistance.

Can I obtain a copy of our certificate of incorporation?

The ABN Lookup database does not hold information on certificates of incorporation.

Each state and territory has legislation that allows various kinds of non-profit bodies to become bodies corporate. Bodies incorporated under these Acts are normally community, cultural, educational, sporting or charitable organisations. Please contact the Incorporated Association Register in your state/territory Office of Fair Trading or Consumer Affairs for more information.

What does it mean if the details of an ABN are suppressed?

A person can apply to have details relating to an entity in the Australian Business Register (ABR) External site suppressed. For example, where:

  • a person believes that, if the details appear on the public register, they may cause harm to them or those associated with them. For example, where domestic abuse and violence orders are in place
  • the public availability of ABR details may endanger a person who is employed in certain fields. For example, psychiatric doctors dealing with dangerous patients, or
  • the Registrar of the ABR determines that disclosing certain details are not in the public interest.

A written request for suppression of ABR details must be accompanied by a statutory declaration, giving the reasons for the suppression, and the relevant supporting documentation.

For more information, please see suppress your ABN details External site on the ABR web site.

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