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Principal authority

As a principal authority, you need to be the first to link your Digital Identity to the business’s Australian business number (ABN) in Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM).

Your Digital Identity must be either a Standard or Strong identity strength. Use myGovID to create your Digital Identity.

Once linked, you can access online services on behalf of the business, and authorise others to do the same.

Alternatively, where another principal authority or authorisation administrator is already linked to the business in RAM, they can authorise you to act on behalf of the business instead.

On this page

Who is the principal authority?

The principal authority is a person responsible for the business, such as:

  • a sole trader
  • an eligible individual associate listed on an Australian business number (ABN) in the Australian Business Register (ABR), for example
    • a trustee
    • a director
    • a public officer
    • a partner
    • an office bearer of a club or association
  • a primary person (no individual associates listed in the ABR) who holds one of the following roles
    • director or public officer for the corporate trustee or subsidiary company
    • authorised contact of a government entity  
    • director or public officer of the corporate trustee or subsidiary company or the responsible person of an Australian charity or not-for-profit organisation
    • executor after probate is granted of a deceased estate
    • office holder of an unincorporated association.

Your role must be recorded in one of the following:

Your first and last name recorded in any of the above must match your name as displayed when you’re logged in to RAM. When logged in, your name appears in the top right corner.

To link your business online, you must:

If you’re unable to link online, there are other ways you can link your business.

To link online:

  • log in to RAM
  • select Link my business – select the checkbox to provide your express consent to be redirected to the ATO to find your business or businesses, then select Continue
  • add your personal postal or residential address (as held by the ATO) and select Continue
  • select the business or businesses you want to link and select Continue – if you can’t find your business, check and update your ABR details
  • enter an email address (this can be different to the one used to set up your Digital Identity) and select Send email to receive a verification code
  • enter the verification code and select Verify and Continue
  • review the summary of the selected business or businesses – select the checkboxes to declare you understand and accept and provide your express consent, then select Submit
  • a message will display confirming your business is successfully linked – then select Continue.

Once linked, you’ll be authorised in RAM to act on behalf of the business and can set up authorisations for others to act on behalf of the business.

Your authorisation type will display as Principal authority and remains unless you’re removed as an eligible individual associate of the business in the ABR.

Other principal authorities that have already linked the business will receive a notification email letting them know you have linked.

Watch:

Other ways you can link your business

If you’re a primary person or cannot link online, you’ll need to contact us to link your business in RAM.

To link your business using one of these alternative methods, you need to have a myGovID with at least a Standard identity strength.

To link 7 or fewer ABNs:

  • phone 1300 287 539 and select option 3 during operating hours to complete a proof of identity check
  • checks will be completed to confirm your association to the business
  • once confirmed, you’ll receive an email with an authorisation code and summary of the authorisation request to accept within 7 days
  • log in to RAM
  • select Accept an authorisation for a business
  • enter your authorisation code
  • review the authorisation summary – select the checkboxes to declare you understand and accept and provide your express consent, then select Accept to complete the link.

To link 8 or more ABNs:

  • phone 1300 287 539 and select option 3 to complete a proof of identity check. Record the reference number provided as you’ll need it when completing the form.
  • complete the Assistance to link bulk ABNs in RAM (PDF 196KB) form
    • use the form to link between 8 and 25 ABNs
    • to link more than 25 ABNs, complete multiple forms
    • you must include the reference number you received in the first step
    • the name you provide must match how your name displays in RAM – when logged in this is displayed in the top right corner
  • email your form to LinkMyABN@ato.gov.au. You’ll receive an email confirming your submission - do not reply. If you have any questions, contact our support line.
  • once your application is complete, you’ll receive an email with an authorisation code and summary of the authorisation request for each ABN.
  • each authorisation code is valid for 7 days.
  • log in to RAM 
  • select Accept an authorisation for a business
  • enter your authorisation code – you’ll need to repeat this for each ABN
  • review the authorisation summary – select the checkboxes to declare you understand and accept and provide your consent, then select Accept to complete the link. 

Once linked, you'll be authorised in RAM to act on behalf of the business and can set up authorisations for others to act on behalf of the business.

Your authorisation type will display as Government representative, Indirect associate or Responsible authority and is valid for up to 12 months. Before expiry, you’ll receive reminders to the email address you used when linking to the business and in RAM to renew your business authorisation. This doesn’t affect authorisations you’ve set up for others.

Other principal authorities who have already linked the business will receive a notification email letting them know you have linked. You can remove your authorisation at any time if required.