Commencing this month, all directors of Australian companies will be required to verify their identity and obtain a ‘Director Identification Number’ (Director ID), as part of the Australian Government’s ‘Modernising Business Registers (MBR) Program’.
Last year, the Federal Government introduced the MBR Program as part of its 2020 Budget Digital Business Plan, to assist Australian businesses to take advantage of digital technologies, including to register, view and maintain their business information. The MBR Program established the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) to combine the Australian Business Register and over 30 ASIC registers. Director IDs are the first service to be delivered by the ABRS as part of this initiative.
So, what are Director IDs and do you need one? Keep reading to find out more.
What is a Director ID?
A Director ID (or ‘DIN’) is a unique 15-digit identifier for Australian directors that regulators, advisors and the general public will be able to use in order to obtain a full summary of a director’s corporate history, the introduction of which aims to help prevent the use of false or fraudulent director identities.
If you are required to have a Director ID, you will only need to apply for it once. This is the case even if, for example, you change companies, stop being a director or change your name.
Do I need to apply for a Director ID?
You will need to apply for and obtain a Director ID if you are a director or acting alternate director (or intend to become a director or acting alternate director) of a company or other body corporate registered under the:
- Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Corporations Act); or
- Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) ACT 2006 (Cth) (CATSI Act).
Directors who are required to apply for a Director ID but fail to do so by the relevant deadline (as outlined below) may be issued with an infringement notice and subject to civil or criminal penalties.
When do I need to apply?
Applications for Director IDs open today, however, when you need to apply depends on when you became (or will become) a director.
Subject to any applicable exceptions:
- if you were a director (or acting alternate director) under the Corporations Act on or before 31 October 2021, you will have until 30 November 2022 to apply;
- if you become a director (or acting alternate director) under the Corporations Act between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022, you must apply within 28 days of your appointment; and
- if you become a director (or acting alternate director) under the Corporations Act on or after 5 April 2022, you must have applied for your Director ID before your appointment.
If you are or you become a director under the CATSI Act on or before 31 October 2022, you will have until 30 November 2023 to apply. If you are appointed under the CATSI Act from 1 November 2022 you must apply before your appointment.
How do I apply?
In order to apply for a Director ID online, you will be required to have set up (prior to making the application) a ‘standard’ or ‘strong’ myGovID. A myGovID is distinct from the myGov platform you may already be familiar with. More information on setting up a myGovID can be found at the myGovID website.
You may also apply for a Director ID over the phone or by submitting a paper form, if you are unable to set up a myGovID.
As the application for a Director ID requires directors to verify their identities, you are not permitted to apply for a Director ID by an agent, and must apply yourself. Applications open today on the ABRS website.
If you have any questions in relation to your obligations to obtain a Director ID, the KKI Commercial Team is here to help.