Why you should update your details ASAP with government agencies:
Government agencies regularly access data contained in the ABN registration, and where this is not up-to-date the taxpayer may be missing out on stimulus measures, grants, and other government support.
This became painfully evident during the 2019-20 bushfires, and is now re-surfacing during COVID-19 when it was found that a concerning amount of ABN data was out-of-date.
The ATO and the Australian Business Register are making efforts to remind businesses and relevant taxpayers that it is essential to ensure ABN registration details are accurate and completely up-to-date.
It is a business owner’s responsibility to make sure this is done (contact the Australian Business Register, see www.abr.gov.au). Once a business owner is aware of a change to the business, details on the register must be altered within 28 days. Updating ABN details will ensure:
- the right people have the right permissions to act on behalf of a business
- government agencies have current information – for example, if emergency services need to contact businesses during natural disasters
- the entity is ready for new government services when they become available.
The fastest way to update details is through ABR online services. All changes made to your ABN online will take effect immediately. There is also a paper form that can be completed, and you can call the Tax Office for a copy of this for you should you need it. Proof of identity may be required when you make changes to ABN details.
Note that a business can’t update the following on abr.gov.au:
- business names
- legal names for individuals and sole traders who need to contact the ATO directly
- legal names for companies registered with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC).
Where else you may need to update details:
- Business names can be updated and linked to your ABN via ASIC Connect.
- Personal details can be updated with the Tax Office via myGovID, including some business details for linked ABN's
- Changes to any company and officeholder details (including addresses) are updated on the ASIC Portal
Name changes made by the ATO and ASIC will update the ABR automatically. However, other details are not maintained across platforms and care should be taken to update details with multiple federal and state departments to avoid penalties and missed communications.
ASIC has a very handy list of business actions and links here.
For updating business details with your State agencies, see:
We act as the Tax Agent and ASIC Agent for all of our clients, which means we can update their details across most platforms in a timely manner to avoid penalties.
It is very important to let your agent know with one week of your details changing, or beforehand.