How to identify your small business suppliers

Find out how to use the Small Business Identification (SBI) Tool to identify your small business suppliers for payment times reporting.

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About the SBI Tool

The SBI Tool identifies which of your suppliers are small businesses for payment times reporting. The tool is available through the Payment Times Reporting Portal.

To use it, you’ll need a list of your suppliers’ Australian Business Numbers (ABNs). The tool compares your list to its database and returns a text file with small businesses to report on. This won’t include any small businesses that have opted out of the SBI Tool.

Our SBI Tool page has more information on how the tool works, how to opt out as a small business and how to change business details in the tool.

When to use the SBI Tool

To comply with reporting requirements you'll need to use the SBI Tool during the 3-month reporting window. This ensures you identify any new small business suppliers you engaged during the reporting period. 

If you’re part of a reporting group, the head entity can run the SBI Tool for its group members. You’ll just need to make sure all group members:

How to use the SBI Tool

You can only use the SBI Tool if you're a reporting entity.

Step 1: Create a list of your suppliers' ABNs

To use the SBI Tool, first create a list of your suppliers’ ABNs.

Exclude ABNs for any entities in your controlling corporation’s group such as your head entity or small business subsidiaries. You don’t have to report on group members.

You can only check up to 10,000 supplier ABNs in the tool at a time. To check more than this, you’ll need to run the tool more than once.

Step 2: Save your list of ABNs

When you use the tool, you can either paste your list of ABNs directly into it or you can upload a file. The tool will only accept .csv or .txt files.

To create a .csv file, put your list of up to 10,000 ABNs into a single column in Excel without any spaces. Make sure all the ABNs are on one worksheet with one ABN per cell. Only enter the 11 digit ABNs – don’t include any letters or special characters in the spreadsheet.

Save the list in Excel as a .csv file.

Step 3: Log in to the portal

Log in to the portal. You should see an option to use the SBI Tool on your home screen.

The SBI Tool is only visible to reporting entities. If you're a reporting entity but can't see it, you may have registered incorrectly. Check your profile by clicking on the person icon or your name at the top right of your screen. The portal identifies you as a reporting entity if you select:

  • income above either $100 million or above $10 million if you're a member of a controlling corporation's group with combined income over $100 million
  • that you're a constitutionally covered entity
  • that you're not registered as a charity/not-for-profit.

Step 4: Provide your supplier ABNs to the SBI Tool

Open the SBI Tool and either:

  • upload a .csv or .txt file with your supplier ABNs
  • copy and paste your supplier ABNs directly into the tool.

Step 5: Get your list of small businesses

After you submit your list, the SBI Tool will separate it on screen into small businesses you must report on and businesses not to report on.

You must download and keep a record of the separated list. Check your downloads for a text file with your SBI Tool results and save it to your preferred location. 

Step 6: Keep SBI Tool records

Each reporting entity must keep their own information used to prepare a payment times report. This includes SBI Tool input and output information. Make sure you keep these records for 7 years after the end of the reporting period, even if your head entity ran the report for you.

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