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Director Identification Number requirements

In November 2021, a new initiative was introduced that requires all directors of companies in Australia to obtain a director identification number (director ID).  A director ID is a 15-digit unique identifier that remains with you forever, regardless of whether you cease to be a director, change your name, change companies or move overseas.

Directors appointed for the first time on or after 5 April 2022, must apply for their director ID before their appointment. Directors appointed prior to 1 November 2021 must apply for their director ID by 30 November 2022

Who needs a director ID

You need a director ID if you’re appointed as a director or an alternate director of:

  • A company, registered Australian body, or 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).

You will only ever need one director ID. You don’t have to apply for another one if you are or become a director of other companies or corporations.

How to apply for your director ID

The fastest way to get a director ID is to apply online via the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) website. 

Online application

To complete the online application, you will need a standard or strong identity strength myGovID.  If you do not have a myGovID, please visit How to Set up myGov ID.

Once you have established your myGovID with the requisite identity strength, you can complete the online application.  You will need to provide:

  • An individual Australian tax file number (TFN). Providing your TFN is optional but it will speed up the process.
  • Your residential address, as recorded by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
  • Answers to two questions based on details the ATO knows about you from the following documents:
    • Bank Account Details
    • Notice of Assessment
    • Dividend Statement
    • Centrelink Payment Summary
    • PAYG Payment Summary

Alternative application methods

Applications for a Director ID can also be made via telephone and paper, however these methods may take longer due to additional identity verification requirements. 

Further information on alternative application methods are available on the ABRS website.

How director ID will help honest businesses

Director ID is the first service delivered by the new Australian Business Registry Service, which has been developed to streamline how business information is registered and maintained with government.  The director ID program will help to:

  • prevent the use of false and 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

For more information about ABRS and director ID, visit the ABRS website.

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 can help

Although we are can’t apply for a director ID on your behalf, our team can help you understand the application process, assist with obtaining your myGovID and provide guidance for your ongoing compliance obligations.  Contact us on 07 3217 2477 today.