In a positive move to reduce the number of business identifiers, from 1 July 2016, ASIC will no longer issue a new company with an ACN at registration; the company’s ABN will be used instead.
In the 2015-16 Budget, the Australian Government announced measures to make it easier to register a new business as part of the Growing Jobs and Small Business package.
As part of the new measures, from 1 July 2016, the process for applying for registration as a company under the Corporations Act and applying to be registered in the ABR under the ABN Act will be linked.
New companies will be issued with a single numerical identifier, an ABN, as part of their company registration process. A company will be registered for ABN purposes at the same time it is registered as a company under the Corporations Act. ASIC will no longer give an ACN to a company on registration from this date. Accordingly, new companies will no longer be able to use the ACN as their name.
However, a company registered on or after 1 July 2016 will be able to use the ABN in its name.
An existing company will retain all its current numerical identifiers. A company registered before 1 July 2016 will be able to continue to use its ACN under the Corporations Act and will not be required to apply for an ABN if it does not have one.