Earlier this year, we wrote an article about what you need to know about the new Director ID Number. A director identification number (director ID) is a unique identifier you need to apply for once and will keep forever. It will help prevent the use of false or fraudulent director identities.
Let’s recap the new ID and learn more about how a director can apply for their unique ID from November 2021.
What is the Lifetime Director ID Number?
A director ID is a 15-digit identifier given to a director (or someone who intends to become a director) who has verified their identity with the Australian Business Registry Service (ABRS). It starts with 036, the 3-digit country code for Australia under International Standard ISO 3166 and ends with an 11-digit number and one ‘check’ digit for error detection.
Directors need to apply for their own ID and it doesn’t cost anything.
Directors will only ever have one director ID and it will remain with them for life even if they:
- change companies
- stop being a director
- change their name, or
- move interstate or overseas.
Why do I need a director ID?
If you want to become a director or are already one, you’ll need a director ID.
Shareholders, employees, creditors, consumers, external administrators and regulators are entitled to know the names and certain details of the directors of a company.
All directors are required by law to verify their identity with ABRS before receiving a director ID. This is important because it will help 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.
Illegal phoenix activity is when a company is liquidated, wound up or abandoned to avoid paying its debts. A new company is then started to continue the same business activities without the debt. When this happens:
- employees miss out on wages, superannuation and entitlements
- suppliers or sub-contractors are left unpaid
- other businesses are put at a competitive disadvantage
- the community misses out on revenue that could have contributed to community services.
Do I need a director ID?
You need a director ID if you’re an eligible officer of:
- a company, a registered Australian body or a 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).
An eligible officer is a person who is appointed as:
- a director
- an alternate director who is acting in that capacity.
You must apply for your director ID yourself as you need to verify your identity. No one can apply on your behalf.
When you need to apply
You can apply for a director ID from November 2021.
If you are planning on becoming a director, you can apply before you’re appointed.
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|
To be a director under the Corporations Act, you must:
- be an individual who is at least 18 years old
- not be disqualified from managing corporations, unless the appointment is made with the permission of ASIC or the Court.
All directors need to apply for their own director ID. The fastest way to do this is to apply online.
How do I apply?
You will need a standard or strong identity strength myGovID to apply for your director ID online. Note this is different from myGov.
You will need to have some personal information with you when you apply:
- your tax file number (TFN)
- your residential address as held by the ATO
- two documents to verify your identity.
Once you have a standard or strong identity strength myGovID and your documents, you can log in here and apply for your director ID.