Setting up an ABN :-
If you are an Australian looking to become a Self-Published author, an ABN may be of use to you, depending on how you plan to operate your business. An ABN is an Australian Business Number. It is a unique 11 digit number that identifies your business to the government and the community.
Not everyone is entitled to an ABN, nor is it mandatory to have one to operate a business in Australia, but there are benefits. For example, if you do not quote an ABN on invoices, it is a legal requirement for other businesses dealing with you to withhold 47% tax on any payments they make to you. You can claim the excess tax paid in your tax return at the end of the year, but this slows down your cashflow.
If you only plan to sell on Amazon, I doubt you will need an ABN. As a self-publishing author, I intend to earn an income from the books I publish. I intend to sell my books both on Amazon, and through whichever other avenues I can. This could mean I need to provide invoices for my sales. Another thing I have considered is that potentially, I could offer publishing services to other authors in future. For these reasons I have established an ABN. It’s up to you to determine if you need an ABN and are entitled to one.
It’s easy to apply for an ABN, you simply complete an online form that will test your entitlement. If you are entitled, you complete the rest of the details on the form and receive your ABN on completion. You can apply or find out more about ABN’s at:- abr.gov.au
Disclaimer – This is my understanding of an ABN only. I recommend you seek independent advice from a qualified tax agent or the tax office before you apply for your own ABN.