Government locks in director ID deadline


Directors will soon be required to verify their identity and apply for a director identification number (director ID) as part of a new regime designed to improve traceability of company directors and eliminate unlawful phoenixing activity.

A director identification number (director ID) is a unique identifier you apply for once and will keep forever, even if you cease to be a director, change your name or move overseas.

You must apply for your director ID yourself as you are required to verify your identity. No one, including your registered agent, can apply on your behalf.

Who needs a director ID?

You will need a director ID if you are a director or alternate director of:

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

This includes if you are a director of a:

  • corporate trustee of a trust
  • corporate trustee of a self-managed super fund (SMSF)
  • corporate trustee of a limited recourse borrowing arrangement (LRBA) bare trust
  • charity or not-for-profit registered under the Corporations Act

Who doesn’t need one?

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

  • 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

How to apply

Application will be via the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) website once available and applicants will require the following:

  • A myGovID with standard or strong identity strength (note this is different from myGov)
  • Individual tax file number (optional but will speed up the process)
  • Residential address as held by the ATO
  • Information from two documents to verify your identity, such as:
    • Bank account details
    • ATO notice of assessment
    • Super account details
    • Dividend statement
    • Payment summary

If you are unable to register for a myGovID you can apply by phone (if you have an Australian tax file number) or by completing a paper form. Details of these methods can be found on the ABRS website.

When do directors need to apply?

You can apply for a director ID from November 2021.

When you must apply for your director ID depends on the date you become a director.


Corporations Act directors

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

CATSI Act directors

Date you become a director

Date you must apply

On or before 31 October 2022

By 30 November 2023

From 1 November 2022

Before appointment

What happens if directors fail to comply?

It is important for you to meet your obligations as a director as significant civil or criminal penalties can apply for failure to do so, including penalties of up to $1.1 million for individuals and imprisonment.

If you should require any assistance, please contact your Hall Chadwick QLD advisor.

For further information in relation to director ID’s please visit the ABRS website.

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