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As of 1 November 2021, local and foreign directors of Australian companies can apply for 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.

The introduction of the director ID will create a fairer business environment by helping prevent the use of false and fraudulent director identities. This will go a long way to better identifying and eliminating director involvement in unlawful activity.

Please note that 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.

Who needs a director ID?
You will need a director ID if you’re an eligible officer of:

  • a company, a registered Australian body or a registered foreign company under the Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act)
  • an Aboriginal and Torres Strat Islander corporation registered under the corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act).

An eligible officer is a person who is appointed as:

  • a director
  • an alternate director who is acting in that capacity.

Please note that people operating as sole traders or in partnerships, directors of an incorporated association (with no ABRN) registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) and company secretaries who aren’t directors, do not need a director ID.

Directors must apply for their director ID themselves as they will need to verify their identify. As such, no one can apply on their behalf.

When do you need to apply for a Director ID? 
You can apply for a director ID from 1 November 2021.
If you are planning on becoming a director, you can apply before you are appointed.

Please find the list of important dates below:

  • For companies incorporated prior to 1 November 2021, directors have until 1 November 2022 to apply for a Director ID Number
  • For companies incorporated between 1 November 2021 and 5 April 2022, each director must apply for a Director ID Number (if they do not already have one) within 28 days of their appointment as a director
  • If a person becomes a director of existing company after 1 November 2021 they need to apply for a Director ID Number (if they do not already have one) within 28 days of their appointment as a director
  • After 5 April 2022 the Director ID number for each director will be required to incorporate a company

How to apply for your Director ID? 
Step 1 – Set up myGovID 
You will need a standard or strong identity strength myGovID to apply for your director ID online.

If you:

Step 2 – Gather your documents 
You will need to have some information the ATO knows about you when you apply for your director ID:

  • your tax file number (TFN)
  • your residential address as held by the ATO
  • 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
  • PAYG payment summary.

Step 3 – Complete your application 
Once you have a standard or strong identity strength myGovID, and your documents, from 1 November 2021 you can log in to the ABRS website and apply for your director ID. The application process should take less than 5 minutes.

How to apply if you cannot get a myGovID 
If you can’t get a myGovID, the best way to apply will depend on your situation.
Apply by phone 
From 1 November 2021, you can apply by phone if you have:

Apply with a paper form
If you can’t apply online or over the phone, you can apply using a paper form. This is a slower process and you will also need to provide certified copies of your documents to  verify your identity.

A downloadable application form will be available on the ABRS website from 1 November 2021.


About the author

Robert Lanzilli

Director - Business Services

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