woman company director applying for online identification
Photo by Firmbee.com on Unsplash

New Identification Requirements for Company Directors

The government has started a new identification requirement that attaches a unique identifying number to an individual who is a company director.

If you are a company director, you will need a director identification number by November 2022. You can apply for a director ID from November 2021.

What is a Company Director Identification Number (Director ID)?

A director ID is a unique identifier that a director will apply for once and keep forever. The main purpose of this permanent number is to identify all companies that an individual is a director of.

The new Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) will administer the director ID register. Eventually, all government business registers will integrate into one easily accessible register with greater security.

The director ID will help prevent the use of fraudulent director identities. It will also mean better transparency of appointed directors and increased privacy protections.

Who Needs to Apply for a Company Director Identification?

You need a director ID if you are a director of a:

  • Company.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation.
  • Corporate trustee, for example, of a family trust.
  • 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 ASIC and trades outside the state or territory in which it is incorporated.
  • Foreign company registered with ASIC and carrying on business in Australia.

When Do You Need to Apply?

When you must apply for your director ID depends on when you become a director.

  • Existing directors have until 30 November 2022 to apply.
  • New directors appointed between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022 must apply within 28 days of being appointed as a director.
  • New directors appointed from 5 April 2022 must apply for a director ID number before a director appointment.
  • Prospective directors can apply for a director ID up to 12 months ahead of the appointment.

How to Apply for a Company Director Identification?

The easiest and fastest way to apply is online via ABRS. Follow these steps to apply.

Step 1 – Set Up myGovID Account

You’ll need a myGovID account to apply for your director ID online. This creates an authenticated digital identity, which you can use when accessing government services online.

Your myGovID identity strength will need to be Standard or Strong.

Step 2 – Proof of Identity Documents

To apply through Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) you’ll need:

  • Your Tax File Number (TFN)
  • Your residential address as recorded by the ATO, and
  • Information from two documents to verify your identity. For example, your bank account details, ATO Notice of Assessment, super account details, a dividend statement, or a Centrelink payment summary.

Step 3 – Complete Your Application

You’ll need to complete the application process from the ABRS webpage, which will link your myGovID account to the application. In the event that the application and verification are successful, you’ll receive your director ID straight away.

How to Apply if You Cannot Get a myGovID?

You can apply by phone or by completing a paper form.

What Next?

Start gathering your identification documents and set up your myGovID, if you haven’t already. This is also a great time to review your ABN details and ASIC details.

It’s important to note that you have to complete this process yourself, as you must verify your identity as part of the application. Nobody else can apply on your behalf.

Talk to us if you’d like to know more about company director identification requirements and company director obligations.

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