ABN is expanded as Australian Business Number, basically a unique identifier for any business in Australia and you MUST have one if you are planning to work as an independent contractor or sub contractor providing your a services. If you are working as an employee to any business in Australia, especially as a student then you just need a TFN(Tax File Number). But if you are offering your services individually, then you need to apply and register for an ABN.
I work part time as a freelance photographer in Melbourne catering to business as per their requirement on my terms so basically this makes me an independent contractor. And each time you offer your services in Australia, your invoice should include an ABN number enabling you to legally receive payments to your account number.
How to apply for an ABN?
Many students who offer their services as sub contractors or independent contractors especially in fields like hospitality, cleaning, photography, development etc. do it through their ABN number. Firstly you should have a clear idea of how you are planning to offer your services and you can either apply by self on the official Australian portal or avail services of a consultant who will process your application on your behalf.
Usually ABN number is registered and provided to you in 24 hours. I received mine in 3 hours of application and I went through a consultant online who charged me 29 dollars and the service was quick and excellent. Even they had a chat support to clarify all my questions prior to logging my application.
How to confirm your ABN?
Once you have your confirmation email of ABN number and details, you can head to the official Australian ABN lookup site and search to find your details listed on the website. If you have any questions regarding working as an student and using an ABN, I shall redirect you to the official ABN website where you can get more credible information.
How to use your ABN?
After you have your ABN, using it is pretty simple and straight forward, all you need to do is on all your invoice mention your ABN number or present the same to your business owner (who is going to pay you) so that they can pay you through the ABN and everything is in place.