What is the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS)?
The Australian Business Registry Services is a new service brought by the Australian government as part of its implementation of the Modernising Business Registers (MBR) program, established to bring together the Australian Business Register (ABR) and more than 30 Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) registers into a single registry, in order to streamline how businesses register, view and maintain their business information with the government.
The director identification number (Director ID) is the first service to be delivered by ABRS.
What is a Director Identification Number (Director ID)?
The Director Identification Number (Director ID) is a 15-digit unique identifier that a director will apply for once and will keep forever. It will help to prevent the use of false or fraudulent director identities. This will make it easier to trace Director's relationships with companies, identify and eliminate their involvement in illegal activities such as illegal phoenix activity.
A Director ID will normally start with 036, which is the 3-digit country code for Australia under International Standard ISO 3166; ends with an 11-digit number and one 'check' digit for error detection.
All Directors will be required under the law to apply for a Director ID.
A Director ID will only be given to an individual who has verified their identity with the registrar of the ABRS.
An individual will only need to apply for a Director ID once and will keep it forever even if they change companies, stop being a Director, change their name, or move interstate or overseas.
Individuals will need to apply for their own Director ID. It's free to apply. Currently, agents or advisors cannot apply for a Director ID on behalf of a client.
Who needs a Director ID?
Individuals will be required to hold a Director ID if they are a Director (or act as an Alternate Director) of a:
- 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 the director lives).
Which people don't need a Director ID?
Individuals don't need Director ID if they are:
- 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 do individuals need to apply for a Director ID?
The following transitional arrangements will be applicable:
How do individuals apply online for a Director ID?
To apply online through the ABRS website:
Step 1 - Set up myGovID
Verify your identity using your myGovID credentials or create a myGovID using your smartphone and Australian identity documents. For more information visit How to set up myGovID.
Step 2: Gather your documents
Conduct a proof of record ownership by answering two questions about the individual's ATO record. See below for further information.
Step 3: Complete your application
Complete a Director ID application on the ABRS platform to receive the Director ID instantly.
What two Australian identity documents can be used to register for a myGovID?
Identity documents that can be used for verification:
- Australian full birth certificate (extracts and commemorative certificates are not acceptable)
- Australian passport (including passports that have expired in the past two years)
- Australian citizenship certificate or extract from a Register of Citizenship by Descent
- Foreign passport
- Medicare card
- Australian driver's license or Australian learner's permit. This must show your photo and signature, and the address on the card must match the details on your application.
What two ATO documents can be used to complete the proof of record ownership?
ATO records that can be used for verification:
- Bank account details
- Notice of assessment
- Superannuation account details (note this does not include SMSFs)
- Dividend statements
- Centrelink payment summary
- PAYG payment summary
How does Class plan to implement this Director ID on the system?
Class Support Team has raised a feature request to create an extra field capturing this Director ID under the personal details of a director of a corporate trustee. If you wish to expedite this feature in Class, please cast your vote on the Idea Portal.
To learn more about this portal and how to get access, you can click here.