Business::AU::ABN - Validate and format Australian Business Numbers


  # Create a new validated ABN object
  use Business::AU::ABN;
  my $ABN = new Business::AU::ABN( '12 004 044 937' );
  # Validate in a single method call
  Business::AU::ABN->validate_abn( '12 004 044 937' );
  # Validate in a single function call
  Business::AU::ABN::validate_abn( '12 004 044 937' );
  # The validate_abn function is also importable
  use Business::AU::ABN 'validate_abn';
  validate_abn( '12 004 044 937' );


The Australian Business Number ( ABN ) is a government allocated number required by all businesses in order to trade in Australia. It is intented to provide a central, universal, and unique identifier for all businesses.

It's also rather neat, in that it is capable of self-validating. Much like a credit card number does, a simple algorithm applied to the digits can confirm that the number is valid. ( Although the business may not actually exist ). The checksum algorithm was specifically designed to catch situations in which you get two digits the wrong way around, or something of that nature.

Business::AU::ABN provides a validation/formatting mechanism, and an object form of an ABN number. ABNs are reformatted into the most preferred format, '01 234 567 890'.

The object itself automatically stringifies to the formatted number, so with an object, you can safely do print "Your ABN $ABN looks OK" and other things of that nature.

Highly flexible validation

Apart from the algorithm itself, most of this module is aimed at making the validation mechanism as flexible and easy to use as possible.

With this in mind, the validate_abn sub can be accessed in ANY form, and will just "do what you mean". See the method details for more information.

Also, all validation will take just about any crap as an argument, and not die or throw a warning. It will just return false.

"Group" ABNs

The ABN supports the concept of "Groups", that is, a group of companies sharing a common ABN, but being seperated within it. In fact, ALL companies that have a regular 11 digit ABN are actually also allocated a group number. This group number is a 3 digit number, and are allocated incrementally, starting with 001. So the ABN '01 234 567 890' is actually also capable of being represented as '01 234 567 890 001'.

By convention, when only a single company exists, the 001 is dropped. However, in common situations where an ABN value is expected, you accept both the 11 digit regular version, and the 14 digit group version. The 14 digit case will also be reformatted to show the group identifier as an additional 3 digits group.

Except for not allowing 000, there are no restrictions, and group identifiers are not included in the checksum calculation.


new $string

The new method creates a new Business::AU::ABN object. Takes as argument a value, and validates that it is correct before creating the object. As such if an object is provided that passes $ABN->isa('Business::AU::ABN'), it IS a valid ABN and does not need to be checked.

Returns a new Business::AU::ABN on success, or sets the error string and returns false if the string is not an ABN.


When called as a method on an object, validate_abn isn't really that useful, as ABN objects are already assumed to be correct, but the method is included for completeness sake.

Returns the correctly formatted ABN (which is also 'true' in boolean context) if the ABN is valid, or false if not.

Business::AU::ABN->validate_abn $string

When called as a static method, validate_abn takes a string as an argument and attempts to validate it as an ABN.

Returns the correctly formatted ABN (which is also 'true' in boolean context) if the ABN is valid. Returns false otherwise.

Business::AU::ABN::validate_abn $string

When called directly as a fully referenced function, validate_abn responds in exactly the same was as for the static method above.

Returns the correctly formatted ABN (which is also 'true' in boolean context) if the ABN is valid. Returns false otherwise.

validate_abn $string

The validate_abn function can also be imported to your package and used directly, as in the following example.

  use Business::AU::ABN 'validate_abn';
  my $abn = '01 234 567 890';
  print "Your ABN is " . validate_abn($abn) ? 'valid' : 'invalid';

The imported function reponds identically to the fully referenced function and the static method.

Returns the correctly formatted ABN (which is also 'true' in boolean context) if the ABN is valid. Returns false otherwise.


The to_string method returns the ABN as a string. This is also the method called by the stringification overload.


When validate_abn or new return false, a message describing the problem can be accessed via any of the following.

  # Global variable
  # Class method
  # Function


Add the method ACN to get the older Australian Company Number from the ABN, which is a superset of it.


Bugs should be reported via the CPAN bug tracker at

For other issues, or commercial enhancement or support, contact the author.


Adam Kennedy <>



Copyright 2003 - 2012 Adam Kennedy.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.

The full text of the license can be found in the LICENSE file included with this module.