ABRS produces further guidance on Australia’s director identification number regime

Out-Law News | 21 Sep 2022 | 1:29 pm | 1 min. read

The Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) has produced new guidance on the director identification (ID) number initiative.

The scheme requires directors of businesses registered with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) or the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC) to register for an identity number online. Employers must also keep a record of directors’ identity numbers. The initiative is designed to allow for greater clarity and traceability of a director's relationships across companies and will enable better tracking of directors.

The ABRS has now published a new demonstration video that takes directors through the steps needed to apply for their director ID online. Individuals need to apply for their director ID themselves, as they are required to verify their identity as part of this initiative. All acting directors, alternate directors and appointed directors of Australian corporations and registered foreign corporations, managed investment schemes and registered charities must apply for their director IDs.

Directors appointed on or before 31 October 2021 have until 30 November 2022 to apply for their ID numbers. New directors must apply prior to their appointment. The ABRS said it was “strongly encouraging all directors to apply online now and beat the rush”. It added that a broader marketing campaign would follow in October to reach directors and encourage application.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) set up ABRS as part of the Australian government's Modernising Business Registers (MBR) program. The ABRS is a uniform platform to register, view and maintain a business's information with the government. The ABRS is responsible for facilitating the director identification number initiative, which came into force in November 2021.

The director ID requirements do not apply to unincorporated bodies, shadow directors, or company secretaries. The directors will retain their director ID permanently, even if they are no longer a director.