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Director Identification Number RegimeHenry Jones Posted 11 November 2021
A new regime to Part 9.1A of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) commenced on 1 November 2021, which requires all company directors, or anyone who will become a director, to obtain a Director Identification Number (Director ID).
The Director ID is a 15 digit unique identifier that will help prevent the use of false or fraudulent director identities with the new registry services of the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS). The ABRS is responsible for the implementation and administration of the Director ID regime. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is responsible for the enforcement of associated offences.
The purpose of the Director ID regime is to make it easier to trace director relationships across companies and help identify and eliminate involvement in illegal activity such as illegal phoenix activity.
What to do as of 1 November 2021?
Individuals who are currently a director or will be a director in the future must apply for a Director ID based on the transitional arrangements specified below. A director will need to apply for a Director ID themselves to verify their identity. No one can apply for it on their behalf.
When a director must apply depends on when they were appointed as a director:
- Existing directors have until 30 November 2022 to apply.
- Directors appointed between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022 must apply within 28 days of their appointment.
- From 5 April 2022, intending directors must apply before being appointed.
How to apply for a Director ID?
Directors should access the ABRS website to apply for a Director ID. myGovID is required, which is an app that can be downloaded to a smart device that allows a director to prove who they are.
To apply for a Director ID a person will need to provide the following required documentation to verify their identify:
- tax file number (TFN);
- residential address as held by the Australian Taxation Office; and
- information from two documents to verify their identity (eg Australian passport, drivers licence, birth certificate)
Directors will then be able to complete a Director ID application on the ABRS platform to receive the Director ID instantly.
Managing the Director ID
Once a Director ID is received it must be provided to the record-holder of the relevant company. This might be the company secretary, another director, a contact person or an authorised agent of the company.
If a director’s personal details change, they must notify the company within seven days. Details may include their name, role in the company or residential address. In turn, the person (or people) responsible for keeping the company officeholders' details up-to-date must notify ASIC of the change. This must be done within 28 days of the change to avoid late fees.
At this stage, it is unclear how companies provide Director IDs to ASIC.
No changes to company notification requirements
The Director ID requirement does not replace existing requirements to keep company records updated. For example, directors still need to notify their company of changes to their details and the company will still need to notify ASIC of any changes to the public record.