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Why you need a tax file number (TFN)


A tax file number (TFN) is a unique number issued by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to individuals and organisations.

Registering for a TFN is an important step when starting your business. You can then give it to:

  • investment bodies responsible for paying interest, dividends and unit trust distributions
  • government bodies, for example the ATO, when applying for an Australian business number (ABN) or lodging income tax returns
  • employers (this applies to individuals only)

Check which type of TFN your business needs


This depends on your business structure.

If you operate a partnership, company or trust

You’ll need a separate TFN for your business. Most businesses can apply for a TFN when they apply for an ABN

If you're a sole trader

Use your individual TFN when you deal with the ATO. If you don’t have one, you can apply for an individual TFN on the ATO website.

Find out more on the ATO's Tax file number essentials.

Register for a TFN

Apply for a TFN for business on the Australian Business Register website. Before you apply:

  • check which type of TFN you need
  • have details of your business activities and associates ready