When signing up to become a rideshare driver such as Uber, Didi, Ola as well as delivery drivers including Uber Eats, Doordash, Deliveroo you are asked to fill out an ABN (Australian Business Number). It’s a unique 11 digit number that identifies your business to the government and community.
Generally, an entity is only entitled to have an ABN if they are carrying on a business linked with Australia, and an employee is not eligible to obtain it. As a rideshare or delivery driver, you are not an employee but a contractor that runs your own business as a service provider for a larger company.
Do I need to apply for ABN register for GST?
Whether you’re rideshare driver or delivery driver the Australian authorities require you to have an ABN. You will be asked to enter your ABN number when signing up as a partner on the on-demand transportation or food delivery company.
For GST, if you work as a delivery partner such as Uber Eats, Doordash or Deliveroo, then you are not required to register for GST if the turnover is under A$70,000 a year. While rideshare drivers are required to register for GST before taking their first trip on the company’s platform regardless of how much they earn.
Where to apply and register?
You can apply for an ABN at the official Australian Business Register (ABR) website at no cost. Normally, you will get your ABN number right away after submitting your application. This is possible if the system can identify you from valid information that you provide such as a Tax File Number (TFN).
If you cannot provide all valid information when applying or your identity cannot be confirmed, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will review your application and may contact you in case they need more information about you.
For rideshare drivers who are required to register for GST after obtaining an ABN, you can register through the ATO Business Portal, ATO phone number for self-help service (13 28 66) or through registered tax agents or BAS agents. You have 21 days to register for GST or you may also have to pay penalties and interests. Learn more about how to register for GST here.
ABN for Foreigners and International Students
Individual non-residents and international students are eligible to apply for ABN. To make the application process quicker you should provide valid Tax File Number or TFN although it isn’t required. If you are unable to provide a valid TFN, you will be asked to provide additional Proof of Identity (POI).
Find out more about step by step on how to apply for an ABN as an international student in this post.