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Directors can apply now for their new Director ID

Director identification number (“Director ID”) is a new requirement for all company directors, designed to help combat illegal activity by making it easier to trace directors’ relationships with companies. After 30 November 2022, fines of over $1.1million may apply for non-compliance.

Directors can now apply for their Director ID via the new Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) website. This new single platform administered by the ATO brings together ASIC’s 31 business registers and the Australian Business Register.

The key components are:

  • Directors must apply for their ID for themselves
  • myGovID with two identity documents are required
  • Existing Directors have a year to apply for their Director ID
  • New Directors from 1 November 2021 to 4 April 2022 have only 28 days to apply
  • New Directors from 5 April 2022 will need to apply for a Directors ID before appointment

What is the new Director ID?

The Director ID is a 15 digit identifier given to a Director (or someone intending to become a Director) who has verified their identity with ABRS. Directors will only ever have one Director ID despite changes to their circumstances.

Why is the Director ID needed?

Shareholders, employees, creditors, consumers, external administrators and regulators are entitled to know the names and certain details of the directors of a company. They are also entitled to know that the Director has a verified identity.

A Director ID 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; and
  • 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. Stakeholders typically lose money in these circumstances.

How to apply for your Director ID

All directors need to apply for their own director ID. The fastest way to do this is to apply online.

Step 1 – Set up myGovID

You will need a standard or strong identity strength myGovID to apply for your director ID online.

If you don’t have a myGovID, you can find information on how to download the app here.

Note: myGovID is different to your myGov username.

Step 2 – Gather your ID documents

You will need to have some information the ATO knows about you when you apply for your Director ID:

  • your tax file number (TFN)
  • your residential address as held by the ATO
  • information from 2 of the following documents:

  • bank account details
  • an ATO notice of assessment
  • super account details
  • a dividend statement
  • a Centrelink payment summary
  • PAYG payment summary.

Step 3 – Complete your application

From November 2021 apply via the following ABRS link here.

If you can’t get a myGovID you can apply to the ABRS for a Director ID by either phone or by paper form.

How to manage your Director ID

When you receive your Director ID, you will need to pass your ID onto the relevant companies or their representatives.

If you have a myGovID, from November 2021 you can log in to ABRS online to view your Director ID or update your details whenever you need to.

Your Director ID confirms your identity and will in future show which companies you’re linked to.

An authorised agent or company secretary must ensure that information about a company and its officeholders is:

  • handled according to their legal obligations
  • securely stored.

We are here to help

If you would like help in obtaining your Director ID then please contact your Ruddicks adviser.

If you are considering forming a Company or becoming a Director then we suggest that you apply for your Director ID now.

Want to learn more?

Check out the ABRS Director identification number website here.


Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

The content of this newsletter is general in nature. It does not constitute specific advice and readers are encouraged to consult their Ruddicks adviser on any matters of interest. Ruddicks accepts no liability for errors or omissions, or for any loss or damage suffered as a result of any person acting without such advice. This information is current as at 9 November 2021, and was published around that time. Ruddicks particularly accepts no obligation or responsibility for updating this publication for events, including changes to the law, the Australian Taxation Office’s interpretation of the law, or Government announcements arising after that time.

Any advice provided is not ‘financial product advice’ as defined by the Corporations Act. Ruddicks is not licensed to provide financial product advice and taxation is only one of the matters that you need to consider when making a decision on a financial product. You should consider seeking advice from an Australian Financial Services licensee before making any decisions in relation to a financial product. © Ruddicks 2021

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