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Director ID: A Requirement for Company Directors

Recent legislation requires directors to obtain a personal director identification number (‘Director ID’). The legislation is designed to :

  • Prevent the appointment of fictitious directors and
  • Better identify directors and
  • Their relationships with companies over time

Though existing directors (at 31 Oct 21) have a year to comply, you may as well get your passport and drivers licence out and do the necessary ASAP.  A business opportunity may mean you need your Director ID sooner than you think.

And it’s too easy to forget if you put it off.  Failure to comply with these new Director ID requirements may result in both civil and criminal penalties.

The quickest option is online at abrs.gov.au.

The Basics

What is a Director ID?

A Director ID is a unique (15-digit) identifier that a director will keep forever (even if they cease being a director).

Who needs to apply for a Director ID?

You will need to personally apply for a Director ID if you are :

  • An appointed company director
  • An alternative director
  • A director of a company acting as a trustee (such as the corporate trustee of your SMSF or family trust)

Whilst Ahead For Business can help you in understanding your new Director ID obligations, we are not permitted to make the application on your behalf only assist if and when required.

When do you need to apply for a Director ID?

You must apply for a Director ID as follows :

Date Appointed Date You Must Apply
Up to 31 October, 2021 By 30 November, 2022
1 November, 2021 – 4 April, 2022 Within 28 days of appointment
From 5 April, 2022 Before being appointed

How do I apply for a Director ID?

You need to :

  1. Set up a myGovID account. This is your digital identity which allows easy access to online govement services including ATO.  MyGovID is different from myGov.
  2. Provide additional information to match details already held by ATO eg TFN
  3. Link your new myGovID account to the companies of which you are a director on the Australian Business Register Services (ABRS) website (gov.au)

For most directors, the three-step registration process can be done online and reasonably efficiently (ie in less than five minutes) provided you have all of the required documentation.

Detailed Steps to get a Director ID

Step 1 – Set-up a myGovID

You set up your myGovID by downloading the app from your app store or https://www.mygovid.com.au to your smart device (phone, tablet or computer).

To set up a myGovID you need to have (on hand) two Australian identity documents on which your name matches such as your driver’s licence or learner’s permit, passport, birth certificate, visa (using foreign passport providing still in Australia), citizenship certificate, ImmiCard or Medicare card.

Step 2 – Gather the documents required for identification

To apply for your Director ID you will need additional information such as your tax file number (TFN) and your residential address which can be matched to information already held by ATO.

You will also need 2 of the following :

  • Your bank account details (BSB and Account No)
  • An ATO notice of assessment (Date and Ref at top right)
  • Your super account details
  • A dividend statement
  • A Centrelink payment summary or
  • A PAYG payment summary

Step 3 – Complete your application

Once you have a myGovID with a standard or strong identity strength, and information to verify your identity at hand, go to https://www.abrs.gov.au/director-identification-number/apply-director-identification-number.  Scroll down to the foot of page 1 and click the icon that you can see reproduced below for your reference.

Your myGovID details and ATO details should be prefilled, and all you need to do is enter your place of birth, postal address, mobile and business phone number, your email and any former names before completing the declaration.  Once you are the information is correct, click Submit.

Alternatives to online are :

What do I do with my Director ID once I have successfully obtained it?

Once you have successfully applied for and obtained your Director ID, you will need to pass it onto the record-holder of any companies for which you are a director (eg the company secretary or an authorised agent of the company).

We recommend that you also retain the number for your own records as this will be your lifetime Director ID and required for any additional director appointments you have accepted, or will accept.

At this stage, no additional steps need to be taken to record your Director ID (eg you don’t need to record them with ASIC or the ATO).  But the day will come.

Finally, please feel free to contact us if you need any assistance or clarification with respect to your new Director ID obligations.  If you need help setting up a new business, we can help.

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