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    Hi :)
    My brother and I are starting a business, I have already begun work (for businesses & individuals) so I went ahead and got an abn, so I can do things legitimately.

    We live in two different towns, he does photography and I do designs.

    Now that he’s ready to start up in his town, a few things need to change, so here is where I’m lost already haha.

    Can you add two ABN numbers to one business name (I see that option in the asic.gov.au page)

    Can I change MY abn to not be sole trader?

    What will be the easiest option
    get one abn that has both our names? or
    each have an abn (sole trader?) and add our locations to the business name?

    What happens at tax time? if he reports under our name but from his town, and me from mine, are we still considered one entity?

    I realise this may not make sense, but I am not too sure on how else to word it? I want to do everything right.

    As it stands, I have a registered business name, under my name, and an abn number, naturally under my name… but that isn’t going to work as he will own just as much of the business as i will… but our earnings aren’t going to be combined, at all.

    Am I in the right place? AHHH sorry for the confusion, it’s too early, i’ll make coffee? :)

    • Total posts: 415

    Good morning Ikrave,

    It’s probably a good idea to run this past an accountant first. If you don’t have one I would suggest that you should engage one for your business – an accountant can also assist you in relation to what should happen at tax time.

    There’s a wealth of information on these forums and you should spend some time going through the forums. There are a few questions which are similar in nature which have been answered in the past.

    Generally however each separate entity should have its own ABN. There are several types of entites being sole traders, partnerships, pty limited partnerships, and trusts. As far as I am aware, an entity can only have one ABN although it can have multiple business names.

    There are several ways for you and your brother to do business, however you have to consider:

    1. Are you business partners? If so, should you register a partnership, a pty limited company, or a trust?
    2. If not, are you two separate businesses?
    3. Do you want to keep your taxes separate from each other?
    4. Does the business get taxed individually?
    5. If your brother incurs losses do you share those losses?
    6. If your brother wants to get out what happens then?
    7. Is your brother a business partner, a contractor, or an employee?

    It’s all quite complicated – which makes it a little hard to answer these questions. Safe to say, I really recommend you and your brother should speak to a professional about this.

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    • Total posts: 2,751

    Hi Ikrave,

    It sounds to me like you may be thinking of a partnership.


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