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Attention all Directors – start gearing up to apply for your Director Identification Number

Malcolm Campbell ||

You may recall our article post on 15 April 2021, headed, One step closer to the introduction of the Director Identification Number Regime, in which we discussed the legislation[1] that introduced a new director identification number regime.[2] We are now another step closer to practical implementation with the ability to apply for a director identification number opening up from 1 November 2021.

What is a Director Identification Number?

A director identification number is a unique 15-digit identifier that existing directors and future directors of a company or a registered body will be required to obtain. To obtain a director identification number, directors will be required to confirm their identity.  You will apply for this number once and will retain it permanently, regardless of whether you cease to be director, change companies, move interstate or overseas or change your name.  You will only have one director identification number and will require it to interact with any government agency.

Why do I need a director identification number?

The key purpose of being required to have a director identification number is traceability. A director’s history and relationships across different companies will be traceable. It will help regulators investigate a director’s involvement in unlawful activity. This is particularly important in respect of investigating illegal phoenix activities,[3] which is where a company’s liabilities are deliberately avoided by shutting down an indebted company and transferring its assets to a new company. Having traceable identification numbers will also prevent the appointment of fictitious directors.

The Relevant Timeline

Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) provides the following timelines in terms of when to apply for your director identification number[4]:

Date you become a director

Date by which 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

How to apply

ABRS provides details on how to apply, indicating that the fastest way to apply is to set up a myGovID account. It is highlighted that this is different from a myGov account. This is the first step and something you can do prior to 1 November 2021[5].  This will be in anticipation of applying online for your director identification number at the relevant time. As a tip, have some identification documents handy to step up your myGovID account, such as a current passport and driver licence.

How can we help?

If you require advice on the director identification number requirements, please do not hesitate to reach out to a member of Coleman Greig’s Commercial Advice team, who would be more than happy to assist you.

This material is provided by Coleman Greig Lawyers as general information only in summary form on legal topics current at the time of first publication. The contents do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular matters.

[1] Part 9.1A of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), which was inserted into the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) by Schedule 2 of the Treasury Laws Amendment (Registries Modernisation and Other Measures) Act 2020 (Cth)

[2] https://www.colemangreig.com.au/BlogPost-1672-one-step-closer-to-the-introduction-of-the-director-identification-number-regime.aspx

[4] https://www.abrs.gov.au/director-identification-number/who-needs-apply-and-when

[5] https://www.abrs.gov.au/director-identification-number/apply-director-identification-number


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