Directors are required to apply for a director identification number (director ID) by 14 December 2022 (extension given from 30 November 2022). 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) databases.
Civil ($1,100,000) or criminal ($13,200) 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).
- Not-for-profit organisations that have an ARBN or ACN are included.
The rules initially required an individual who has been a director since 4 April 2021 to apply for a director ID even if they are no longer a director of a company. On the 15 November 2022 the ABRS issued a draft legislative instrument which removes former directors from this requirement. Now only people who are directors after 30 November 2022 are required to obtain a director ID. An individual who resigns before 1 December 2022, but later becomes a director again, will still need to obtain a director ID prior to any appointment.
Directors of charities that are companies limited by guarantee are required to have a director identification number, however, associations incorporated under the State and Territory Associations Incorporation Acts and unincorporated associations are not required unless those entities are a registered body with an ARBN.
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 with a standard or strong identity strength (This is 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: 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: 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 paper application form which can be supplied by our office. This is a slower process and you will need to provide certified copies of your documents to verify your identity. Should you require a copy of this paper application form, please contact our office.
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.