Director Identification Number (Director ID) Overview

As part of the new government program, Modernising Business Registers (MBR) introduced in 2020, there is a new requirement for all directors of a company to obtain a digital director identification (director ID) to verify their identity from November 2021.

A director ID is a unique 15-digit identifier that a director will need to apply for once and will keep forever. This ID will help prevent the use of false or fraudulent director identities. The director ID will be implemented by the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) which is a new service that combines the Australian Business Register (ABR) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) registers into a single register. The new ABRS registry service will help to streamline how businesses, communities and governments register, view and maintain their information.

Who is required to apply for a director ID & when do they need to apply by to avoid penalties?

You need to have a director ID if you’re a director of (including alternate director who is acting in that capacity) or planning to become a director of:

  • a company, a registered Australian body or a registered foreign company under the Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act). You will need to apply for a director ID based on when you become a director as follows:
    • If you become a director (Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act))
      • on or before 31 Oct 2021 – You must apply by 30 Nov 2022
      • between 1 Nov 2021 and 4 Apr 2022 – You must apply within 28 days of appointment
      • from 5 April 2022 – You must apply before appointment
  • an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act). You will need to apply for a director ID based on when you become a director as follows:
    • If you become a director (Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act))
      • on or before 31 Oct 2021 – You must apply by 30 Nov 2022
      • from 1 Nov 2021 – You must apply before appointment

Once a person applies for a director ID, it stays with them. There is no need to ever apply for another one each time they are appointed as a director. Director IDs must be applied by the director themselves to verify their identity. More information on how to apply and to keep up to date regarding this matter, please visit the Australian Business Registry Services website at www.abrs.gov.au.

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