Home – New Forums Starting your journey ABN for Trust or company

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    • Total posts: 11

    After a lot of googling I understand that the ABN is for the trust and not for the company. Am i right ?

    All entities wishing to undertake business activities in Australia are generally required to register an ABN. A trust (or trustee) is able to hold an ABN, and given you have set up a trading trust then you are correct, the ABN is for your trust as that is the business structure you are trading under.

    Do I need an ABN for the company to start trading in company name?

    If you wish to start trading under your company name (as opposed to the trust name), then yes you would be required to register an ABN for your company. However given you have setup a trust with a corporate trustee, then i dont believe this is the right step to make.

    If a customer requires an invoice in the following format:
    Company name
    GST Registered yes/No

    Technically you would write:
    ABC Pty Ltd as trustee for the ABC Trust
    ABN# 123456789
    GST# 876543

    however given the name is a little bit too long and wordy, you could simply shorten it to read:
    ABC Pty Ltd
    ABN# 123456789
    GST# 876543

    • Total posts: 1

    Hi folks,
    Hope I’m not postjacking, but I have a question on the same topic of company structure. Actually, I’d love if you could verify what I’ve setup and next steps.

    I’m starting a new software company. I’m hoping I can grow it and at some point in the future sell out to a larger player in the industry.
    My accountant advised me to setup a Pty. Ltd. company and to create a discretionary/family trust to hold all the shares of said operating company. I didn’t hear back from the accountant for quite a while so decided to move ahead with the setup myself.
    After much additional research, I decided on the following structure:
    1. XYZ Holdings Pty. Ltd.

    • Has an ACN. Does not have an ABN or TFN.
    • Currently, I am the sole director.
    • I am the sole shareholder, holding the shares in a non-beneficiary capacity.

    2. XYZ Pty. Ltd.

    • This is the operational company that I will be trading under.
    • Has an ACN, ABN and TFN.
    • Has a registered business name: XYZ
    • Currently, I am the sole director and company secretary.
    • XYZ Holdings Pty. Ltd. is the sole shareholder, holding the shares in a non-beneficiary capacity.

    3. “My Family Trust”

    • XYZ Holdings Pty. Ltd. is the corporate trustee for the discretionary trust.
    • Myself and my wife are individually named as beneficiaries, and default beneficiaries, and various blood relatives can receive distributions.
    • I have created the Trust Deed (from an online system) and it has been signed by the settlor (a family friend), and by myself as the director of the company that is the corporate trustee. I’m in WA – no stamp duty is due.

    I’ve written/signed the various docs that I need stating that I agree to be company director & secretary, and agree to buy shares in company at $0.01 price.

    Question: Is this setup correct? :)

    The next step is setup bank accounts.

    1. I believe I need to setup ABN and TFN for the family trust in order to create a bank account for it?

    2. Do I need to, or should I create a bank account for XYZ Holdings Pty. Ltd.?

    3. Is there anything I’m missing?

    Thanks very much in advance for any advice.

    Ross Forrester
    • Total posts: 155

    Hi Brian

    I am really sorry to hear that you are being poorly serviced.

    Before you jump headlong into a decision make sure your structure is the best fit for you taking into account:

    Your estate planning.
    Capital gains tax planning.
    Asset protection objectives.
    Future investors.
    Income tax planning.
    Superannuation obligations.
    Land tax (if applicable)
    Ongoing fees for government red tape.

    All of these are important and need consideration. You are possibly on the right track but just make sure you are getting personal attention on what is important to you.

    And post jacking is cool.

    • Total posts: 11

    Hi Brian,
    The structure you have described is not uncommon. It allows for improved asset protection and income distribution through your family trust.

    I agree however that it is worth getting your tax Accountant to give it the once over.

    Btw where did you get your trust deed from? Has it been drafted to ensure compliance with the law and how up to date is it?

    Regarding your query on bank accounts, the holding company is unlikely to need to open one. Your family trust will, and yes you will need an ABN to do so. (Assuming intention is for your family trust to earn consulting fees from the operating company).

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