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Director Identification Numbers are now required

Directors are required to apply for a director identification number (director ID).  The purpose of this director ID is to help regulators trace directors’ relationships with companies over time and reduce unlawful activity.  Directors will keep their director ID even if they stop being a director of a company.

Director IDs are issued by the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS).  Over time the ABRS will bridge the information that is currently found on the Australian Business Register (ABR) and Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Civil or criminal penalties can apply for not meeting obligations, including making an application by the due dates or engaging in conduct that undermines the system, such as providing false information in the application.

Who needs to apply?

Director ID’s are required for eligible officers of:

  • A company, registered Australian body or a registered foreign company under the Corporations Act
  • An Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act).

Directors of not-for-profit companies are included.

When do directors need to apply?

The director ID application process is now available.  Directors need to apply within certain timeframes depending on when appointed as a director:

 

Date appointed as director Date you must 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 Before appointment

* There are extended dates for directors under the CATSI Act

 

How do directors apply?

There are three ways for directors to apply.  Australian resident directors can use any of the methods.  Non-resident directors need to apply using the paper form.  We have provided details of each method below:

1.    Using myGovID

This requires setting up a myGovID (separate from access to the MyGov portal).  We suggest you have the following identification documents on hand when setting this up:

  • your individual Australian tax file number (TFN) (providing your TFN is optional, but it speeds up the process)
  • your residential address, as recorded by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
  • two of the following documents.
    • Bank account – notice of assessment – super account – dividend statement – centrelink statement – PAYG summary.

Applying using your myGovID is the easiest method for you to use.  We are, however, not able to assist you if you choose this method.  For more information see: https://www.abrs.gov.au/director-identification-number/apply-director-identification-number

2.   Over the phone

You can apply over the phone by calling 13 62 50.  Before calling you will need to have the above documents as well as a various identity documents as outlined here: https://www.abrs.gov.au/director-identification-number/apply-director-identification-number/verify-your-identity

3.   A paper form

You are able to apply using a downloadable form from here: https://www.abrs.gov.au/sites/default/files/2021-10/Application_for_a_director_identification_number.pdf

This is a slower process and you will need to provide certified copies of your documents to verify your identity.  All non-resident directors will need to apply using this method and it can take some time.

Updating details?

Once you apply for your director ID any change in details, such as your address, is required to be advised to ABRS within 28 days.  The requirement to advice ABRS of a change in the director’s details is in addition to the existing requirement to advice ASIC or ACNC.  We will be able to advise ASIC of any change for companies we have been appointed as ASIC agent.  Directors will need to advise ABRS separately.

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