All existing company directors must apply for their unique identification number or risk penalties for failing to apply within the required timeframe. Newly appointed directors must apply within 28 days of appointment.
This director identification number (Director ID) is a unique identifier you need to personally apply for and will keep forever and is a measure aimed at preventing the illegal ‘phoenixing’ activities and increase Director accountability and traceability.
It is important to understand the new obligations for those operating in the capacity of a Director so we have outlined the key facts below.
Who needs to apply for a Director ID?
You need a Director ID if you are an “eligible officer” of a company, a registered Australian body, a foreign registered company or an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation. An “eligible officer” is a person appointed as a director or an alternative director who is acting in that capacity.
When to apply
Applications for a Director ID are free and you can apply from November 2021.
When you must apply for your Director ID depends on the date you become a director. For directors appointed under the Corporation Act:
|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|
How to apply
Foreign directors apply via a paper form at Application for a director identification number (NAT75329, PDF, 306KB)
The fastest way to receive your Director ID is to apply online on the newly established Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS).
Directors must apply for their Director ID themselves because they need to verify their identity. No one can apply on their behalf.
To complete an online application, you will need:
- a standard or strong identity strength myGovID. If you don’t have one, visit our How to set up myGovID guide;
- your tax file number;
- your residential address as held by the ATO; and
- information from two documents to verify your identity.
Examples of the documents you can use to verify your identity include:
- bank account details;
- an ATO notice of assessment;
- super account details;
- a dividend statement;
- a Centrelink payment summary; and
- PAYG payment summary.
There are options to apply for a Director ID via phone and paper (for applicants within and outside Australia).
Your Director ID obligations
Your obligations as a director include:
- applying for a Director ID within the relevant timeframe or when directed by the Registrar to do so;
- not applying for more than one Director ID (unless directed by the Registrar to do so);
- not misrepresenting your Director ID to a Commonwealth body, company, registered Australian body or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation; and
- not being involved in a breach of the above Director ID obligations.
If you do not meet your obligations there may be civil or criminal penalties; and you may be issued with an infringement notice.
The ABRS Registrar has advised that for now, your director ID will not be searchable by the public. When you receive your Director ID, you need to pass it on to your company record-holder.
The ABRS Registrar will only disclose your Director ID to you or to:
- someone you give us permission to disclose to;
- certain commonwealth, state and territory government bodies; and
- courts and tribunals.