If you’re a director of an entity registered under the Corporations Act 2001 – so think Pty Ltd company, charity/NFP or an SMSF with a corporate trustee, you might have heard about some new rules that require you to get hold of a Director Identification Number or a Director ID.

As with all things legislatively required, there are a number of rules and deadlines to abide by.

But first things first…

What is a Director Identification Number and why do I need one?

In short, a Director ID is a unique number that is used to identify all your dealings as a registered entity director with ASIC. Think of it in the same way your tax file number identifies you with the ATO. Regardless of the number of directorships you hold, you only need one director ID that will be used across all entities. Your director ID lasts forever, even if you resign from your role(s), change companies, move overseas or change your name.

All directors of your company, charity, not-for-profit or SMSF corporate trustee must apply for their individual director ID (I.e. it’s not a number that’s shared by directors of the entity) and it’s not something that anyone else can do on your behalf (including your accountant or solicitor).

The Director Identification number has essentially been created to prevent the use of illegal, false or fraudulent identities and to reduce the risk of unlawful activity – i.e. it’s easier to trace those that aren’t living up to the obligations of directorships. The director ID is central to the modernisation of the Business Registers program and part of the Government’s Digital Business plan.

Who doesn’t need Director Identification?

You won’t need a director identification number if you’re;

  • Referred to as a director in a job title, but have not been appointed as a director under the Corporations Act or the CATSI Act
  • A company secretary but not a director
  • Acting as an external administrator
  • Running a business as a sole trader
  • Running a business in a partnership structure
  • A director of a registered charity with an organisation type that’s not required to be registered with ASIC or ORIC to operate within Australia
  • An officer of an unincorporated association, co-op or incorporated association under state or territory legislation, unless it’s also a registered Australian body.

How do I get a director identification number?

  • Set up myGovID (if you haven’t already) before you start the director identification process. For more information on how to do this and to download the app go to https://www.mygovid.gov.au/set-up *
  • Prepare your documentation to verify your identity. You’ll need your tax file number (TFN), the address the ATO holds for you and two of the following documents for information;
  • Your latest ATO notice of assessment
  • Your super account details
  • Bank account details
  • Centrelink payment summary
  • A PAYG payment summary
  1. Complete your application – click the link and head to step 3 to start the director identification process. It shouldn’t take much longer than 5 minutes.

Director Identification deadlines

Yes, you read that correctly. There are different deadlines depending on which Act you fall under and when you were first appointed as a director.

For directors under the Corporations Act

  • If you’ve been a director for any length of time, even if you’ve just been appointed to a new directorship – i.e. before 31 October, 2021 you must apply by 30th November, 2022.
  • If you were appointed as a director between November 1, 2021 and April 4, 2022 – you must lodge your application within 28 days of appointment
  • If you’re about to be appointed as a first time director, you must lodge your application PRIOR to being appointed.

For directors under CATSI Act

  • If you were appointed as a director prior to 30 November, 2022, you must apply by 30th November, 2023.
  • If you become a director after November 1, 2022 your application must be lodged prior to your appointment.

And whilst we can’t help you complete your director identification, if you’re considering transitioning to a company structure or you’d like to set up an SMSF, we’d be delighted to chat to you further. You can call us on 6023 1700.

* please note: your myGovID is different from your MyGov account.

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