When you incorporate a company, you should be aware of which documents require your Australian Company Number and your Australian Business Number, in accordance with the Corporations Act.

Generally, your company’s ACN needs to appear on all of your ‘public documents’ and ‘eligible negotiable instruments’ under section 153 of the Corporations Act. Your company name and ACN can be displayed in a variety of different ways and need to include the words ‘Australian Company Number’, or the short form ‘ACN’ or ‘A.C.N.’

Which Documents Must Display The ACN?

Documents where your company name and ACN are required include:

  • Any documents that you are required to lodge with ASIC;
  • Invoices and statements of accounts;
  • Hand written receipts;
  • Order forms for goods and services;
  • Business letterheads and other official documentation;
  • Official company notices from your company to the public;
  • Cheques, promissory notes and bills of exchange; and
  • Written advertisements which provide an offer.

Which Documents Do Not Require The ACN?

Documents where your ACN does not have to be printed include:

  • Machine, cash-register or software generated receipts;
  • Advertisements which only promote the company but do not make any specific offer;
  • Credit cards or vouchers;
  • Items which are not documents e.g. signs;
  • Packaging and labelling; or
  • Business cards.

Although there are no specific requirements as to where and how your name and ACN should be included in certain documents, it is important to ensure that the ACN is easy for your customers or suppliers to read. The ACN should be displayed alongside the company name and it should be obvious to anyone skimming the document that the ACN relates to that business name.

If your company has an ABN, you may use the ABN with your company’s name instead of the ACN on company documents and negotiable instruments. The only condition is that the ABN includes the ACN and is presented in the same way that the ACN would be presented.


It is important that you include your ACN or ABN where necessary. The current penalty for non-compliance with the ACN provisions of the Corporations Act is $1,700 and/or 3 months imprisonment. For more information relating to Corporate Compliance, contact LegalVision on 1300 544 755 and speak with one of our experienced business solicitors.

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