ABN number -Being self-employed.

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Australia ain’t cheap, so for any backpacker on a working holiday visa that doesn’t want to survive on a diet that consists of no more than supernoodle butties and stagnant water, being efficient at finding work is a must. As in any country, the more strings to your bow the better! Lets look at how an ABN number can help you, not just survive but thrive in Australia.


What is an ABN? – Australian Business Number

An ABN number is an individual 11-digit code that is generated by the Australian tax office upon successful completion of application. If you want to earn money as a sole trader you will need an ABN. An ABN will allow you to identify your bussiness when ordering and invoicing for contracted works, claim Goods and Services Tax credits. It also allows you to avoid Pay As You Go Tax on payments you may recieve.



Why go self-employed?


For most of us in our standard non-traveling lifestyle will more than likely opt for full-time employment when it comes to putting food on the table, but as a backpacker who can only work for a maximum of 6 months for any one employer this really isn’t the case. Travelling around Australia, trying to fit in as much as possible means you’re not likely to stay in any one place for more than 3 months at a time so whats the need to find a job for life!? There aint one!

Willing to go self employed can open up many doors as far as gaining paid work is concerned. A lot of constuction contractors prefer to use self-employed staff opposed to cards in, once the job ends they can terminate your contract and you will cost them no more vs someone who is employed will have to be provided with another job to go to, as well as holiday pay. This means you’re a lot more flexible.

As in most countrys, self-employed wages seem to be a little higher to make up for lack of holiday and sickness pay, so for backpackers that are constantly on holiday and well…. we all hope to not need sick pay, this could be the way forward.


How to get an ABN?

To obtain an ABN, is relatively easy as most things are in Australia. All you have to do is visit the Australian Government website and fill out a request form online. To request an ABN is completely free. You will get your ABN instantly upon successful completion of ABN registration.

All you need to register for an ABN is a Tax File Number and proof of ID (must correspond with data at the Australian Tax Office). An ABN will only become active on a date you provide but can only be up to 6 months into the future.

In summary…

If you are travelling to Australia and plan on looking for work, it is definately a good idea to register for an ABN even if you never need it. Afterall you can register from anywhere as long as you’ve got internet access, it’s completely free and opens up many doors to new job opportunities.

So when you’re stood at the cash machine and it’s saying you better get down to Coles for their speciallity “dollar bread” and home brand noodles you may wish you had an ABN number and that job that came with it.







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