Currently, every company registered in Australia with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) under the Corporations Act receives a unique Australian Company Number (ACN) upon incorporation. Many companies also register on the Australian Business Register (ABR) and receive and separate Australian Business Number (ABN) and business Tax File Number (TFN).

In the 2015-2016 Budget, the Australian Government announced that it is considering streamlining the current business registration process as part of the ‘Growing Jobs and Small Business’ initiative. This initiative aims to encourage start-ups and entrepreneurship, ultimately fuelling greater investment and jobs.

Proposed Changes

From 1 July 2016, the Federal Government proposes to combine the procedures for registering as a Company with ASIC and the ABR. The Government plans to develop a single online registration website for business and company registration so that new companies can satisfy all registration requirements in a single transaction.

As part of the proposed measures, the Government intends to reduce the number of unique business identifiers received by companies upon registration. Rather than receiving an ACN and potentially, an ABN and a TFN, as part of the company registration process, new companies will be issued with a single numerical identifier, an ABN. Companies will no longer have ACNs or TFNs. They will instead be able to use their ABN to interact with both the Australian Tax Office and ASIC.

What about Existing Companies?

The proposed amendments will not affect companies registered before 1 July 2016. These companies will retain all of their current numerical identifiers and can continue using their ACNs. Furthermore, they will not be required to apply for an ABN if they do not already have one.

Conclusion

At this stage, the proposals are simply that: proposals. If, however, the Government does implement these amendments, they will greatly assist companies who are newly starting out.

Should you like any more information or have any questions about the proposed amendments, please get in touch! Or, if you require assistance registering or structuring your business, pre or post the changes to the business registration process, one of LegalVision’s business structuring specialists would be delighted to assist.

Jill McKnight

Next Steps

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