The Australian government has introduced a new requirement for directors of companies registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to obtain a director identification number (director ID).
A director ID is a unique identifier that individuals will keep forever.
The introduction of director IDs will help the relevant government agencies to:
- prevent the use of false or fraudulent director identities
- make it easier for external administrators and regulators to trace directors’ relationships with companies over time
- identify and eliminate director involvement in unlawful activity, such as illegal phoenix activity (closing one company to avoid paying its debts then reopening another for the same purpose).
Who Needs a Director ID?
You will need a director ID if you are a director of a company that is registered with ASIC.
You still need a director ID even if you are only the director of a corporate trustee, for example, of a self-managed super fund.
You do not need a director ID if you are a:
- company secretary
- sole trader or partner in a partnership
You only need one director ID, even if you are a director of multiple companies.
When to Apply for a Director ID
If you want to become a director or are already one, you will need a director ID.
When you need to apply depends on the date you become a director:
There are transitional arrangements in place for implementation of the new director ID system and all current directors will need to obtain a director ID in due course unless they are planning to cease their directorships.
How to Apply for a Director ID
Directors must apply for their own director ID to verify their identity. As a tax agent and ASIC agent we are unable to submit applications on behalf of our clients, however, we can provide assistance with the process or any information required to confirm your identity.
The application process requires the following information for the verification of a person’s identity:
- the individual’s tax file number (TFN) – though this is optional
- residential address listed with the ATO
- answers to two (2) questions based on the following details:
- bank account details (e.g. from a recent tax refund)
- notice of assessment
- super account details
- dividend statement
- PAYG payment summary
- Centrelink payment summary
Applications can be made via the following methods:
- this requires a myGovID
- this requires two (2) Australian identity documents (e.g. birth certificate and driver’s licence)
- this requires certified copies of Australian identity documents
The online application is the quickest way to obtain your director ID and only takes approximately five (5) minutes if you have a myGovID and all of your identification information handy.
The application can be submitted via the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) website here: Apply for your director ID. This website also has information regarding phone applications and the relevant form to submit paper applications.
The director ID is issued immediately on-screen and should be provided to us if we act as the ASIC agent for any companies you act, or intend to act, as a director for.
Feel free to contact our office for further details about the new director ID process or if you would like us to provide you with the information necessary to verify your identity for the application.
You can also visit the ABRS website for more information about director IDs and the application process.