Difference TFN and ABN

We get many questions about what the difference is between a TFn and a ABN, so below we will explain this to you.


A TFN (Tax File Number) is a personal number that you MUST have if you want to work in Australia. Without the number you are not eligible to work in Australia.

You can apply for your TFN online through the ATO website, or ask the staff of Australian Backpackers to help you with this.


An ABN (Australian Business Number) is a number that you can apply for yourself. You do not need this to be able to work in Australia.

Not everyone needs an ABN and not everyone is entitled to one, but if you’re starting up or running a business you will need to register for one.

Registration is free through the Australian Business Register (ABR). Having an ABN means that you would be "running your own company (self employed)".

When you apply for jobs, some companies may ask you to get your ABN before you start working for them. You can apply for an ABN through the ABR website.

If your business has an annual turnover of $75,000 or more, you must register for GST and you'll need an ABN to do this. If your business has a lower annual turnover, it's up to you whether you register.

Check the website for all information: www.abr.gov.au