Directors Identification Number – What you need to know

The Federal Government, through the Australian Business Registry Service (ABRS), is implementing a new director identification number (director ID) regime which will require all company directors to apply for a director ID number.

The phased implementation commences from November 2021. For a summary of what this all means see below.

Background

The purpose of the director ID system is to eradicate unreliable data from the ASIC register that arises from the use of shortened names or aliases.

The regime is also designed to enhance the identification of directors who engage in illegal phoenixing activity and deter directors from engaging in such behaviours in the first place.

A director ID is a unique 15 digit identifier you need to apply for once and will keep forever.

Who needs to apply for and hold a director ID?

You will need a director ID if you’re a director of a:

  • Company (which also includes a company acting only in a capacity as trustee)
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation
  • Charity or not-for-profit organisation that is a company
  • Registered Australian body or Foreign Company (ARBN)

You don’t need a director ID if you’re:

  • 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 you need to apply

You can apply for a director ID from November 2021.

If you are planning on becoming a director, you can apply before you’re appointed.

  • For existing directorships you will have until 30 November 2022 to apply for a director ID
  • Directors appointed between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022 must apply within 28 days of their appointment
  • Directors appointed from 5 April 2022 must apply for a director ID before their appointment

How to apply for a director ID?

Visit the Australian Business Registry Services website to learn more about director IDs and how to apply.

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