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14 July 2023 - 2 min read

ACN (Australian Company Number)

If you're planning to establish a company in Australia you will need an Australian Company Number (ACN). In this article, we look at what an Australian Company Number is, who needs it, and guide you through the process of obtaining it.

What is an Australian Company Number?

If you decide to structure your business as a company, you will need an Australian Company Number. This requirement applies to all companies registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

The Australian Company Number (ACN) is a unique nine-digit number assigned to registered companies operating in Australia. It serves as a key identifier and plays a vital role in various processes, including financial reporting, legal proceedings and tax matters. An ACN also facilitates various business transactions, such as opening business bank accounts, entering contracts, and engaging in financial activities.

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How to get an Australian Company Number

The process of obtaining an Australian Company Number (ACN) involves the following steps:

1. Determine your company name and structure

Before applying for an ACN, decide on the name and structure of your company. The name must not already be registered with another company. You can use the ASIC website tool for check if your chosen company name is available. The structure for your company can be a proprietary limited company, public company, or another suitable structure.

2. Register your company with ASIC

Visit the (ASIC) website and follow the registration process. Provide the necessary details, including the company name, structure, shareholders, and directors.

3. ACN Allocation

Once your company registration is processed, ASIC will allocate an ACN to your company. The ACN will be included in your company's registration documents.

Is there a fee associated with registering for an ACN?

Note that you wil incur a fee when registering your company and obtaining an Australian Company Number. The fee depends on the type of company structure you’ve chosen and the teritorry in which you’re registering the entity.

How to display your ACN on documents

Your company’s Australian Company Number must appear on the first page of documents, and must be clear, eligible, and obvious that it belongs to your company. Your ACN should appear on all official documents, such as those lodged with ASIC, orders for goods and services, business letterheads, official company notices, cheques and bills of exchange, account statements and invoices, written advertisements making a specific offer, and non-machine produced receipts.

You don’t need to include your company’s ACN on any packaging or labelling, advertisements not making a specific offer, credit cards and credit card vouchers, machine-generated receipts and business cards.


No, sole traders do not need an Australian Company Number (ACN). ACNs are specifically required for registered companies in Australia. Sole traders can operate under their own name or choose to register a business name if they want to trade under a different name.
The timeframe to obtain an ACN can vary. Generally, if you submit your application online through the ASIC website, you can receive your ACN instantly upon successful registration. However, if there are any issues or additional information required, it may take longer for the ACN to be allocated.
You can register for an ACN online through the ASIC website. ASIC provides an online registration service that allows you to complete the necessary application and provide the required details. Once your application is successfully processed, provided all the information is accurate and complete, you will receive your ACN immediately.

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