By Despina Lyons, Paralegal | Trade Mark Attorney

19 January 2022

A new identification requirement for Directors was recently introduced by the Australian Business Registry Services (“ABRS”) department, requiring all directors to apply for a unique Director ID.

What is the Director ID?

The Director ID is a unique 15-digit identifier which will be given to a Director (or someone who intends to be a Director) once the ABRS verifies their identity. Directors will need to apply for their own identifier. Third parties, such as our firm, cannot apply on a Director’s behalf for the ID. It is free to apply for a Director ID.

You will apply for the Director ID once and keep the same ID forever. You will be able to keep the same unique Director ID even if you change companies, stop being a Director altogether, change your name or move interstate or overseas. The ID confirms the Director’s identity and, in the future, will show which companies the Director is linked to.

The aim of the Director ID is to improve transparency. The unique identifier will assist to prevent the use of false or fraudulent director identities and makes it easier for relevant parties to trace Directors’ relationships between companies.

Who does the Director ID requirement apply to?

The new identification requirement has a very wide application. The Director ID requirement applies to you if, you are a Director, or you become a Director of:

  • a company;
  • a registered Australian body;
  • a registered foreign company; or
  • an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation.

All existing or new Directors will need to satisfy the identification requirement.

You do not need a Director ID if you are:

  • a company secretary;
  • acting as an external administrator;
  • a sole trader or partnership;
  • a Director of a registered charity with an organisation type that is not registered with ASIC or ORIC; or
  • an officer of an unincorporated association, cooperative or incorporated association established under state or territory legislation, unless the organisation is also a registered Australian body.

Timeframe for applying for the Director ID

There are different deadlines for applying for a Director ID and these depend upon the date you become a Director and the type of entity you are a Director of.

Corporations Act Directors

Date you became a Director Deadline to apply
On or before 31 October 2021 By 30 November 2022
Between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022 Within 28 days of appointment
From 5 April 2022 Prior to appointment

 

Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act Directors

Date you became a Director Deadline to apply
On or before 31 October 2022 By 30 November 2023
From 1 November 2022 Prior to appointment

 

How to apply

You are able to apply online, over the phone or via a physical paper application. The information required for the application and to verify your identification include your myGov account, tax file number, residential address which is recorded with the ATO and two further documents to verify your identity. The types of further documents you can use to verify your identity include bank statements, ATO Notice of Assessment, superannuation account details, share dividend statement, Centrelink payment summary or PAYG payment summary.

You can find more information about applying for the Director ID at the following link: https://www.abrs.gov.au/director-identification-number/apply-director-identification-number/verify-your-identity

Once you have obtained your Director ID you should provide these to your tax and ASIC agent (if applicable) for their records. There is however currently no mandatory requirement to provide your director ID to ASIC or the companies you are a director of.

Who is the ABRS?

The new ABRS is responsible for administering the director ID initiative. The ABRS is a new service which is managed by the Australian Taxation Office (“ATO”). The purpose of the ABRS is to streamline the registration, viewing and maintenance of business information with the Australian government. ASIC is responsible for enforcement of director ID offences, including if you do not apply on time.

Contact Us

While we are not able to apply for the Director ID on your behalf, please let us know if you have any questions at all regarding this requirement, your deadline to apply or the application process and we would be pleased to assist you.

 

Despina Lyons Heidi Bruce
(03) 9907 4301 (02) 8935 8806
[email protected] [email protected]

 

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