Your Business

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November 3, 2021

Australian director ID is HERE!

David Easton

Community Development

The Australian director ID is HERE! If you want to become a director or are already one, you'll need a director ID.

From November 2021 (now), directors will be asked to verify their identity as a part of a new director ID requirement. This is being asked as a part of the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS), an Australian government initiative that will eventually bring together the current Australian Business Register and over 30 Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) registers.

Buckle up, this is heady stuff folks!

What is director ID?

A director identification number (director ID) is a director’s unique identifier, which will be allocated to a director for life. The director ID aims to help prevent the use of fictitious director identities, help regulators trace directors’ relationships with companies over time and better identify director involvement in unlawful activity such as illegal phoenix activity.

Who needs a director ID?

You 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).

If your organisation has an Australian business number (ABN), you can use ABN Lookup to find out if it is registered with ASIC as a:

  • company, which will have an Australian company number (ACN)
  • registered Australian body, which will have an Australian Registered Body Number (ARBN)
  • registered foreign company, which will have an ARBN.

The Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC) maintains a register of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations. These corporations have an Indigenous Corporation Number (ICN) and may also have an ABN.

You don't need a director ID if you're:

  • a company secretary but not a director
  • acting as an external administrator of a company
  • running a business as a sole trader or partnership
  • referred to as a ‘director’ in your job title but have not been appointed as a director under the Corporations Act or the CATSI Act
  • a director of a registered charity with an organisation type that is not registered with ASIC to operate throughout Australia
  • an officer of an unincorporated association, cooperative or incorporated association established under state or territory legislation, unless the organisation is also a registered Australian body.

When you need to apply

You can apply for a director ID now. You must apply for your own director ID; no one may apply on your behalf.

If you're planning on becoming a director, you can apply before you’re appointed.

Corporations Act directors

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

If you became a director on or before 31 October 2021, you need to apply by 30 November 2022.

If you became a director between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022, you need to apply within 28 days of appointment.

If you become a director from 5 April 2022, you must apply before appointment.

To be a director under the Corporations Act, you must:

  • be an individual who is at least 18 years old
  • not be disqualified from managing corporations, unless the appointment is made with the permission of ASIC or the Court.

CATSI Act directors

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

If you became a director on or before 31 October 2021, you need to apply by 30 November 2023.

If you become a director from 1 November 2022, you must apply before appointment.

To be a director under the CATSI Act, you must:

  • be an individual who is at least 18 years old
  • be a member of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation and an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person (unless the corporation’s constitution or rule book says otherwise)
  • not be disqualified from managing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation, unless the appointment is made with the permission of the Registrar of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporations or the Court.

For more information on the CATSI Act, visit the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC) website

Applying for your director ID

You need to apply for your own director ID. The fastest way to do this is online using the myGovID app.

Applications are now open on the ABRS Link

Applicants will need:

  • a standard or strong identity strength myGovID. Those without a myGovID will still be able to apply by phone or written application.
  • an 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).
  • answers to two questions based on details we know about you from the following documents.
  • Bank account – notice of assessment – super account – dividend statement – Centrelink statement – PAYG summary.

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