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4. Why do I need an Australian Company Number?

Why do you need an Australian Company Number (ACN) when forming a company and how do you go about getting one?

Every company that gets registered under the Corporations Act of 2001, will receive an ACN or Australian Company Number. They are issued by Australia's corporate regulator and overseer of the Corporations Act, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

A company's ACN is its official 'identifier'. It is a none-digit number that is unique to the company. It will stay with a company even if it has a name change or, at some point, becomes deregistered. As such, it is seen to be a more efficient way to identify companies than the old system of filing company information by name.

Once a company is registered and receives its ACN, the number must be printed on the following:
1. Common seal and other company seals (if any)
2. All documents made public by the company
3. All documents that have to be lodged with ASIC
4. Any negotiable instruments issued

An item that isn't considered to be a document, such as a company car or a TV advertisement, doesn't need to carry the ACN. Neither does labelling or packaging or general advertisements unless they make an offer that can be accepted, then the ACN will need to be included in the advertisement.

So how do you apply for an ACN?

You will be issued with your ACN when you complete the process of registering a company with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission