The Government recently announced the full implementation of the Modern Business Registers (MBR) program.

This program establishes the new Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) and streamlines how you register, view and maintain your business information with Government.

One of the biggest changes announced as part of the MBR is the introduction of director identification numbers (Director ID).

Director Identification Numbers

From 1 November 2021, directors will need to verify their identity. A director ID is a unique identifier that is kept by an individual forever – you don’t need to re-apply or renew.

You will need a director ID if you’re a director of a:

  • company
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation
  • corporate trustee, for example, of a self-managed super fund
  • charity or not-for-profit organisation that is a company or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation
  • registered Australian body, for example, an incorporated association that is registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and trades outside the state or territory in which it is incorporated
  • foreign company registered with ASIC and carrying on business in Australia (regardless of where you live).

Directors must apply for their director ID themselves because they will need to verify their identity. No one can apply on their behalf.

Why you need a director ID

Shareholders, employees, creditors, consumers, external administrators and regulators are entitled to know the names and certain details of the directors of a company.

All directors are required by law to verify their identity with the ABRS before receiving a director ID. This is important because it will help to:

  • prevent the use of false or fraudulent director identities
  • make it easier for external administrators and regulators to trace directors’ relationships with companies over time
  • identify and eliminate director involvement in unlawful activity, such as illegal phoenix activity.

What this means for you

  • If you are a director, you will need to set up a MyGovID account
  • If you are an existing director, on or before 31st October 2021, you will need to apply for a director ID by 30 November 2022
  • If you are not currently a director, but looking to be appointed from 1st November 2021, you will have to apply within 28 days of the appointment
  • If you become a director from 5th April 2022, you will need to apply for a director ID before your appointment

Setting up MyGovID

You will need to set up a MyGovID and provide the following information:

  • Tax File Number
  • Residential address as held by the ATO
  • Information from 2 documents to verify your identity, e.g.:
  • Bank account details
  • An ATO Notice of Assessment
  • Super account details
  • A dividend statement
  • A Centrelink payment summary
  • PAYG payment summary

More about the MBR and director ID

For more about director ID and how to apply, see the Director identification number on the ABRS website.

For more about the MBR program, see Modernising Business Registers on the ATO website.

Contact us for advice

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need more information about the director ID and your specific circumstances.