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Principal authority

A principal authority needs to link to the business in Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM) before others can be authorised to access government online services on behalf of the business.

Where a principal authority or authorisation administrator is already acting on behalf of the business online, they can authorise you in RAM to act on behalf of the business.

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
    • company – the director or public officer for the corporate trustee or subsidiary company
    • government entity – the authorised contact
    • Australian charity or not-for-profit organisation – director or public officer of the corporate trustee or subsidiary company or the responsible person
    • deceased estate – the executor after probate is granted
    • unincorporated association – the office holder.

Before you start

You need a myGovID to log in to RAM. To complete most actions in RAM, you need at least a Standard identity strength, but some actions require a Strong identity strength.

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. Your name appears in the top right corner.

How to link your business

Find out how to link your business as a:

Linking as a sole trader or eligible individual associate

Sole traders and eligible individual associates who can set up a myGovID with a Strong identity strength are able to link online.

If you meet the above requirements, you can link your business online in RAM. If you don’t, you need to follow the instructions to link as a primary person.

To link online:

  • log in to RAM using your digital identity, such as your myGovID
  • select Link my business – you’ll be redirected to the ATO to find your business or businesses
  • 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
  • view the summary of the selected business or businesses and select the checkbox to declare you understand and accept, 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. Your authorisation 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.

Linking as a primary person

All primary people, and those sole traders or eligible individual associates who are unable to link online, need to contact us to link their business in RAM.

To link seven or fewer ABNs:

  • phone 1300 287 539 and select option 3
  • you’ll need to provide personal details 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
  • log in to RAM using your myGovID to accept the request and complete the link.

To link eight or more ABNs:

  • Phone 1300 287 539 and select option 3 to complete a proof of identity check. You’ll receive a reference number that needs to be included in your Assistance to link bulk ABNs in RAM form.
  • Complete the Assistance to link bulk ABNs in RAM form (PDF 196KB) to link between eight and 25 ABNs at a time. To link more than 25 ABNs, you need to complete multiple forms.
  • The name you enter in this form must match your name as displayed in RAM. To check this, log in to RAM using your myGovID. Your name will appear in the top right corner.
  • Email your form to LinkMyABN@ato.gov.au.You’ll receive an email confirming your submission. Do not reply to this email. If you have any questions, contact our support line.
  • Once your application is completed, you’ll receive an email with an authorisation code and summary of the authorisation request for each ABN. The code will expire after seven days.
  • Log in to RAM using your myGovID to accept the request and complete the links. If your code expires or you receive an error message, contact our support line.

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

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. These authorisation types are valid for up to 12 months. Before expiry, you’ll receive reminders to the email address you used when linking to the business, as well as a notification in RAM to remind you to renew your business authorisation.

Your renewal doesn’t affect authorisations you’ve set up for others, they can continue to access government online services on behalf of the business.