Learn your Director ID requirements

As part of recent amendments introduced by the Treasury Laws Amendment (Registries Modernisation and Other Measures) Act 2020 (Cth) in June, all persons holding the role of a company director will soon be required to be identified by Director Identification Number (Director ID).  Directors need to take action and register for a Director ID to meet their obligations – read the steps below to find out how.

 

Registering for a Director ID

 If you hold a position as a director, including a director of a company acting as a trustee (such as the corporate trustee of your SMSF or family trust), act as an alternative director, or are planning on becoming a director in one or more entities, you need to register for a Director ID.

 

How to apply

The fastest way to apply for a Director ID is through the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) website. To apply online, you will need:

 

myGovID

This is different to a myGov account. myGovID is an app that you download to your smart device. It lets you prove who you are and log in to a range of government online services, including myGov.

Although it might feel like a nuisance to set up your myGovID, in the long term most of us will need one to access various government services and this is the perfect opportunity to set one up.

 

Click here for information on setting up your myGovID.

 

Verification documents including your Tax File Number

The ABRS website provides examples of the sorts of documents you can use to verify your identity. It is helpful to have these documents on hand before commencing your application.

To apply online, visit the ABRS website here.

 

Note – at the end of the process, please record and email your Director ID number to admin@knightgroup.com.au and our office will update your records.

You can also apply by phone or with a paper form. Make sure you have your verification documents ready before you call.

Directors must apply for a Director ID themselves because they need to verify their identity. No one can apply on their behalf, however, if you need help, please contact our office to guide you through the process. We will also be releasing instructional videos on how to apply for a Director ID.

 

What is a Director Identification Number and why do you need one?

A Director ID is a 15-digit unique identifier given to directors once they have verified their identity with the ABRS. Each person can only have one Director ID. Once issued, a director will retain their Director ID forever, regardless of whether they change companies, cease to act, change their name or move interstate or overseas.

All directors of a company, registered Australian body, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation or a foreign company registered and carrying on business in Australia will need to obtain a Director ID.

The Director ID has been introduced to prevent the use of false or fraudulent director identities. It helps identify and eliminate director involvement in unlawful activity, such as illegal phoenix activity. Illegal phoenix activity is when directors continue the same business activities in a new company and liquidate, wind up or abandon the old company to avoid paying its debts.

 

When do you need to have your registered Director ID by?

Corporations Act Directors

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

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

 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation Directors

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

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

 

Although this may seem like a long way away, we encourage you to apply for your Director ID as soon as possible to avoid fines and penalties.

 

Foreign resident directors

Please note that foreign resident directors will also have to obtain Director IDs within the same timeframes.

 

Foreign resident directors who have Australian documentation (e.g. Australian passport, Australian drivers licence, birth certificate, etc.) may still be able to apply as per the above options.

 

For all other foreign resident directors, it will be necessary to submit a paper application form along with certified copies of certain foreign identity documentation (e.g. foreign passport, foreign birth certificate, foreign drivers licence etc). These will need to be in English or translated into English by an approved translation service and certified as a true and correct copy by either a notary public or staff at an Australian embassy, high commission, or consulate, including consulates headed by Austrade honorary consuls. For more details, please visit the ABRS website – verify your identity.

 

This may be a difficult and time-consuming process so we recommend that the process be commenced as soon as possible to avoid fines and penalties.

 

What are the penalties for non-compliance?

The penalties for non-compliance are steep. Directors who fail to obtain a Director ID within the required timeframes may be issued an infringement notice and could face criminal charges and/or civil penalties of up to 5,000 penalty units (currently $1.11 million).

 

We’re here to help!

 If you’re struggling with your registration or have any questions regarding your obligations, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. 

 

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