Do I need an ABN to sell goods online?

Do you sell goods online or are you thinking of selling goods online, for instance through your website, through Facebook, through Etsy or another website and are you wondering if you need an Australian Business Number (ABN)?

Then read on.

Short Story

Short story – if you selling goods as a hobby then you do NOT need an ABN. If you are selling goods as a business then you will need an ABN.

How do I know if I’m conducting a business or a hobby?

Answer these questions:
• Is your main intention to make a profit?
• Do you sell your goods at their cost price, or do you include a profit margin?
• Do you regularly and repeatedly undertake your activity?
• Do you operate your store as if it were a business?
• Do you spend money in having an online presence?
If you answered ‘Yes’ to most of these questions then you are most likely carrying on a business. So you would need an ABN.

If the answer is ‘No’ then you are most likely carrying on a hobby and therefore don’t require an ABN.


If you sell more than $75,000 (excluding GST) in a year then you are legally required to register for GST, but to register for GST you need an ABN.

So if you turn over more than $75,000 you will need an ABN.


If you need a domain name for your business then you need an ABN to get one. So that could be another good reason to get an ABN.

Need some one on one advice – no worries give us a call on 1800 355 455 and we can help you out. We offer a full range of business documents that could help you reduce your legal risks.

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