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Your Ultimate Guide for getting an ABN before you start tutoring

How to get an ABN and fill out the ABN application is the first query among many who intend to start tutoring. Edulyte has answered this question and many more in this blog.

Any business or commercial cannot start without the initial step to get an ABN in Australia. Therefore, to legally and officially begin your business enterprises, ABN is a necessity

What is an ABN?

ABN is a unique 11-digit Australian Business Number that registers you with the Australian government. In addition, your ABN informs the general public about your business on the ABN Lookup website. ABN for sole trader is as necessary as ABN for large corporations.

Why do I require an ABN?

The question above is often asked with how to apply for ABN. An ABN is used with your TFN, or tax file number, when dealing with the ATO and should be listed on any invoices or receipts you provide to your clients or customers.

Do I need an ABN for Private Tutoring?

As a private tutor, you will be self-employed, so we recommend obtaining an Australian Business Number (ABN). Applying for an ABN online at the Australian Business Register is free if you don’t have one.

How to apply for an ABN as a tutor

How to apply for an ABN as a tutor?

You can get an ABN by applying online at the Australian Business Register if you don’t have an ABN. However, with the convenience of using online, you should also know that it is free to apply for an ABN.

Before applying for your ABN, you need to read the following on how to get an ABN:

  • ABN applications are reviewed, so only genuine businesses get and keep an ABN. You may need to provide evidence that you are entitled to an ABN.
  • For each false or misleading statement stated in your ABN application, you will incur a penalty of up to $12,600.
  • Your furnished information will be sent to other agencies for validation.
  • Once you have an ABN, update it within 28 days of any change.
  • You should cancel it if you are no longer trading or carrying on an enterprise.

The steps to fill out the ABN Application Form are pretty straightforward. We have also compiled some of the ABN application questions that you will have to answer:

  • Go to applying for ABN page on the ABR site
  • Click on ‘Apply for an ABN’. Select ‘Individual (sole trader) as type of entity.
  • Choose the correct details for the information asked and review them.
  • For the question:” Does the applicant currently have an ABN?” answer “No.”
  • In the Business Information screen, fill out the details. Then, choose Main business activity: type ‘Tutoring’.
  • Reason for application – select ‘to receive payment for services.’
  • Application confirmation: make a note of your ABN – save it in your phone contacts under ABN.

Who can get an ABN in Australia?

Anyone who intends to start business activities in Australia is entitled to an ABN.
Non-residents may be entitled to an Australian business number (ABN) if they’re:

  • carrying on or starting an enterprise in Australia
  • making supplies connected with Australia’s indirect tax zone.

What else can you do with an ABN?

Besides tutoring, you can use the ABN when you provide resource building, curriculum development and other services on similar lines as an individual.

When to apply for an ABN?

The right time to apply for an ABN is when you move towards self-employment or starting your enterprise. For example, you require an ABN if you aim to be a sole trader, establishing a company, partnership, or trust.


Before starting any business activities or trading, you must apply and attain an ABN. These include setting up your website and social media accounts, applying for loans, buying equipment, etc.

ABN vs ABR

There is constant confusion regarding ABN vs ABR. The main distinction is ABN, is a business number issued to business ventures, partnerships, and sole traders by the ATO.


An Australian Company Number (ACN) is a unique nine-digit number issued by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to all companies registered in Australia.


While an ACN is specific to companies and is issued by ASIC. A company can possess both an ACN & ABN; an individual or partnership will only have an ABN.

Final thoughts

If you do not have your business annual income crossing $75,000 are not required to apply for an ABN. But we advise you to still apply for it. This is because if you don’t have an ABN, other businesses that deal with you must withhold tax from any payments they make – and at a rate of 47 per cent. That is a significant amount!


Having an ABN also allows you certain business benefits: to register to claim back GST credits, claim fuel tax credits, and use the pay-as-you-go withholding system, among others.


Having an ABN makes it easier to deal with government departments and agencies.

So go ahead and register your tutoring business for an ABN. The application process is a breeze.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does ABN stand for in Australia?

ABN stands for Australian Business Number. It is a unique 11-digit that registers you with the Australian government. Your ABN informs the general public about your business.

What is the difference between ABN and ACN?

There is constant confusion between the two; the main distinction is ABN, is a business number issued to business ventures, partnerships, and sole traders by the ATO.
While an ACN is specific to companies and is issued by ASIC. A company can possess both an ACN & ABN; an individual or partnership will only have an ABN.
An Australian Company Number (ACN) is a unique nine-digit number issued by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to all companies registered in Australia.

Where can I get help for ABN?

You can refer to register for an Australian Business Number page
or the ABN Lookup website to find out how to apply for the ABN. You can also find the answer to your queries regarding filing for ABN on these sites.

Why is the individual/sole trader applying for an ABN?

Individuals managing their enterprise must get an Australian business number (ABN).
As a sole trader, you are legally responsible for all aspects of your business. As a rule, you are entitled to an ABN when conducting business in Australia. You are carrying on a business if you engage in trade or commerce activities to make a profit.
You can easily track income and expenses using your business activities from the start. Such a step can save you time and money later in accounting or hiring an accountant.
Other benefits that you get are:

  • legal confirmation of your business identity to others
  • Avoiding business clients withholding Pay As You Go (PAYG) tax on payments
  • Claiming back Good and Services (GST) credits
  • Acquiring a ‘.com.au’, ‘.net.au’ or ‘.org. au’ domain name

Who can get an ABN in Australia?

Anyone who intends to start business activities in Australia is entitled to an ABN.
Non-residents may be entitled to an Australian business number (ABN) if they’re:
carrying on or starting an enterprise in Australia
making supplies connected with Australia’s indirect tax zone.

How much does it cost to get an ABN?

It doesn’t cost anything! Yes, you read that right. Applying for an ABN is free of charge.

How to get an ABN number?

  • Go to applying for ABN page on the ABR site
  • Click on ‘Apply for an ABN’. Select ‘Individual (sole trader) as type of entity.
  • Choose the correct details for the information asked and review them.
  • For the question:” Does the applicant currently have an ABN?” answer “No.”
  • In the Business Information screen, fill out the details. Then, choose Main business activity: type ‘Tutoring’.
  • Reason for application – select ‘to receive payment for services.’
  • Application confirmation: make a note of your ABN – save it in your phone contacts under ABN.

How to check an ABN application status?

You must contact the Australian Business Register directly to check an ABN’s status.
Suppose you have omitted crucial information or, in case the information you had provided can’t be verified. In that case, the application will need to be processed manually and can take up to 28 days.

How many ABN can I have?

You can have more than one ABN linked to your operating entity. Also,
You can register two business names under the one ABN, as long as both businesses are in the same structure.

How to cancel an ABN?

As per https://www.abr.gov.au/business-super-funds-charities/updating-or-cancelling-your-abn/cancel-your-abn
you should cancel to ABN when
You should cancel your ABN if your business:

  • has been sold
  • has closed down
  • is no longer operating in Australia or making supplies connected with Australia.

Ensure you meet all lodgment, reporting and payment obligations with any government agencies you deal with.
Note: You must cancel your pay as you go withholding before you cancel your ABN.
You can cancel your ABN by:

  • Online, using your myGovID
  • Lodging a form by mail

How to re-activate an ABN?

You can re-apply or re-activate your ABN using this form. As per ABR guidelines, you may be required to supply evidence that you have undertaken or are planning to undertake business activities, such as:

  • Applying for finance
  • Building a website
  • Advertising or creating social media accounts
  • Obtaining licences or insurance to operate
  • Leasing or purchasing premises, equipment or stock

What is the ABN of the AustralianSuper?

AustralianSuper is a registrable superannuation entity. The Trustee of the Fund is AustralianSuper Pty Ltd ABN 94 006 457 987 AFSL 233788.

You can check the ABN Lookup Search Page.
You can use the search box at the top of every page to search ABN Lookup by ABN/ACN or name. Additional search options are described below.

  • Use advanced search to refine your search with extra filters such as state, postcode, tax concessions and deductible gift recipient status.
  • Use statistical query to report quantitative information about ABNs by location, status and type.

How long is ABN registration valid?

Your ABN is for your entire life. Note that you are entitled to an ABN while running an enterprise. The ABR will periodically check to ensure you are still running an enterprise by reviewing your tax returns and activity statement lodgements.