Mandatory Director ID Numbers from November
Australian company directors have the next year in which they will need to apply for a Director Identification Number through the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS).
The ABRS will roll out progressively between 2021 and 2024, with the first step being that all company directors will be required to obtain a Director Identification Number(DIN).
For most directors, the due date will be 30 November 2022 however a new appointment as a director from 1 November 2021 onward will bring forward your requirement for a DIN.
1. Director Identification Number – what is it?
This ID number is a permanent personal identifier, even if you change companies, stop being a director, change your name or move overseas.
This DIN will be applied to every company of which you are a director.
2. Why you need a director ID
Verifying your identity with the ABRS is intended to help prevent fraudulent or false IDs being used. The intent is for regulators to be able to trace directors’ relationships with companies over time and identify and eliminate unlawful director activity. It safeguards your identity and reduces the chance of identity fraud.
The importance of safeguarding confidential personal information used in the application process, and cyber security awareness, cannot be over-emphasised.
We understand that a director ID will not be searchable by the public however various groups including employees, creditors and shareholders are entitled to know the names of a company’s directors.
3. Who must obtain a director ID
Any eligible officer of a company, including people who are appointed as a director or an alternate director of a company must obtain a director ID. This includes people who are a director of a company, registered Australian body, registered foreign company, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation, or corporate trustee.
Find out more on who needs to apply and when, at the Australian Business Registry Services site.
4. Applying for a director ID
From November 2021 you must apply for a director ID if you meet the director criteria outlined above. Your deadline depends on the date you became a director under the Corporations Act:
- On or before 31 October 2021, you must apply by 30 November 2022 (this will apply for most existing directors of companies including corporate trustees of discretionary trusts and self managed super funds)
- Between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022, you must apply within 28 days of appointment
- From 5 April 2022 on, you must apply before appointment.
Application details are described in detail here https://www.abrs.gov.au/director-identification-number/apply-director-identification-number. In summary:
- Set up your myGovID
- Gather your documents, including your tax file number (TFN), your residential address and ID verification
- Login to ABRS and apply
It is free to apply for your director identification number, but you must apply for your own number and verify your identity. Note that an accountant cannot apply for an ID on behalf of a director (although we’d be happy to provide guidance with this process).
5. myGovID – time to get on board (there is no avoiding it…)
The myGovID process is becoming increasingly common across government in areas such as ATO, Centrelink, NDIS, Medicare (including Covid vaccine registers) and My Health Record, so if you are not already signed up it is worth taking the time and effort to do so. You may use your myGovID frequently, so ensure you understand the sign in and ongoing communication process.
Your MyGov account holds sensitive private information. As with many areas of online identification, we strongly recommend strong and unique passwords with two factor verification.
There will be a process developed to apply for a DIN without a myGovID via phone or mail however we don’t expect it to be easy.
Despite a November 2021 commencement, the ABRS processes are still in beta phase so we expect a few early challenges. As we learn more we will keep you updated.
If you would like to know more, please get in touch via phone (08) 6436 0900 or firstname.lastname@example.org