Director identification numbers

The Government is introducing a new requirement for directors to apply for a uniqueidentification number (Director ID) from November 2021. Director IDs are a part of a package of reforms to address illegal phoenix activity. This initiative will be delivered by  Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS), a newly established function of the ATO.

What is a director ID?

All eligible directors will be issued with a unique director ID to be kept permanently and provide traceability of a director's profile and association with companies over their career.

Why are director IDs required?

Director IDs will help prevent the use of fake director identifies and make it easier for regulators to associate directors with companies.

Who needs a director ID?

Directors (or alternate directors acting in that capacity) will need to apply for a Director ID if they are a director of either:

  • a company, which will have an Australian company number (ACN);
  • an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation;
  • a corporate trustee, for example, of a self-managed super fund;
  • a charity or not-for-profit organisation that is a company or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation;
  • registered Australian body, which will have an Australian Registered Body Number (ABRN). 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; or
  • a foreign company registered with ASIC and carrying on business in Australia (regardless of where that individual lives).

 Read more on who will be required to have a Director ID on our FAQ page.

Who doesn't need a director ID?

A director ID is not required if you are a:

  • director of an incorporated association (with no ABRN) registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC)
  • company secretary but not a director
  • acting as an external administrator of a company
  • run your business as a sole trader or partnership.

When do I need to apply for a Director ID? 

When a director must apply for their Director ID depends on the date that individual becomes a director and whether they are a Corporations Act or CATSI Act director, as outlined below.

All existing directors will have until 30 November 2022 to apply for a Director ID.

Corporations Act directors

Date you become a director

Date you must apply

On or before 31 October 2021

By 30 November 2022

Between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022

Within 28 days of appointment

From 5 April 2022

Before appointment

CATSI Act directors

Date you become a director

Date you must apply

On or before 31 October 2022

By 30 November 2023

From 1 November 2022

Before appointment

 

How do I apply for a Director ID? 

Directors will be able to start applying for their Director ID from 1 November 2021 from the ABRS website.

In order to make an application a director will need to have a myGovID. It is important to note that myGovID is different to MyGov, which is commonly used to access existing services from the ATO or Medicare.

In preparation for making an applications open, the ABRS advises eligible directors to set up their myGovID if they have not already done so. The ABRS website has more information about setting up a myGovID here.

Can someone apply on my behalf? 

No. Directors must apply for their own Director ID as there are proof of identity requirements that cannot be completed on an individual’s behalf (including by authorised tax or ASIC agents, although agents may assist their clients understand the new requirement and provide support around how and when to apply).

What are the penalties for non-compliance?

Civil and criminal penalties will apply where individuals:

  • fail to apply for a Director ID within the prescribed timeframes or if directed by the regulator to do so
  • intentionally apply for more than one Director ID
  • provide a false Director ID
  • are actively involved in the contravention of any of the above offences.

For more information

Access information provided by the ABRS here

Frequently Asked Questions

For more information download our FAQs provided by the ATO.