The ATO finds businesses tend to forget to update their Australian Business Number (ABN) details in the Australian Business Register (ABR) when their circumstances or details change.
Practitioners can do a few things to help keep their clients’ ABN details up to date and reduce unnecessary contact from the ATO.
Check ABN’s are still in use
Many partnership and trust ABNs are not in operation, or their business structures have changed so;
- If a client’s business is no longer in operation
- If a client’s business structure has changed, cancel the ABN for the old structure before applying for a new one.
Check the authorized contact details
Sole authorized contacts cannot be removed from the ABR, but contact details can be updated.
If the practitioner is the sole authorized contact for a for a former client, the practitioner’s details can only be removed once a new contact is added.
The ATO recommends that practitioners add alternative contacts to their client’s ABN record, and update the ABN Record for any new clients.
Register trading names with ASIC
Check that clients have registered their trading names as business names with the Australian Securities & investments Commission (ASIC)
By 31 October 2018, businesses will need to register any existing or old trading names as a business names with ASIC to continue operating with it.
ABN lookup will reflect these changes and will only display business names registered with ASIC from this date.