Company directors in Australia are now required to verify their identity by way of the new director ID regime.
All directors of a company, registered Australian body, registered foreign company or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation will need a director ID.
Director IDs are governed by Part 9.1A of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (the Corporations Act) and Part 6-7A of the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cth) (the CATSI Act).
When do you need to apply by?
The timing of the director’s appointment will dictate when a director must apply for a director ID:
A person seeking to apply for a director ID may apply for an extension of time and the Registrar may allow a longer period under s 1272E of the Corporations Act and s 308.30 of the CATSI Act.
How do you apply?
Directors will need to have the following information when they apply for their director ID:
The Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) is responsible for the administration of director IDs. To apply for a director ID, a person will need to use ABRS online services and have a myGovID set up (myGovID is different from myGov – it is an app, not just an account).
Once a director has applied for a director ID, they will be assigned a unique identifier.
A person must not apply for an additional director ID if that person knows that they already have a director ID: s 1272G of the Corporations Act, s 308.40 of the CATSI Act.
What if you don’t apply in time? Are there offences relating to director IDs?
Directors who do not apply in time, provide false application information, apply for multiple director IDs or give a false director ID under either of the Corporations Act or the CATSI Act may face civil or criminal penalties. ASIC is responsible for enforcing the director ID offences set out in the Corporations Act.
It is worth noting that while existing directors have just over year to apply for their new director ID, those directors who are appointed from November 2021 onwards must be aware of the much shorter timing requirements or potentially face penalties.