Director identification number

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. Directors can apply for their director ID from November 2021 on the new Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS).

How director ID works

A director ID is a 15-digit identifier given to a director (or someone who intends to become a director) who has verified their identity with us. 

A director ID:

  • starts with 036, which is the 3-digit country code for Australia under International Standard ISO 3166
  • ends with an 11-digit number and one ‘check’ digit for error detection.

Directors need to apply for their own director ID and it’s free to apply.

Directors will only ever have one director ID. They will keep it forever even if they:

  • change companies
  • stop being a director
  • change their name
  • move interstate or overseas.

Why you need a director ID

Shareholders, employees, creditors, consumers, external administrators and regulators are entitled to know the names and certain details of the directors of a company.

All directors are required by law to verify their identity with us before receiving a director ID. This is important because it 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
  • 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. When this happens:

  • employees miss out on wages, superannuation and entitlements
  • suppliers or sub-contractors are left unpaid
  • other businesses are put at a competitive disadvantage
  • the community misses out on revenue that could have contributed to community services.

Protect your identity

Your director ID will confirm your identity and trace your relationships to companies.

Directors have obligations under the law. You should only give your written consent to being appointed as a director if you will play an active role in overseeing the company’s business affairs.

There are strict rules around how director IDs can be used. For now, your director ID will not be searchable by the public. The Registrar will consult the community about if and when this should change.

Who needs a director ID

You need a director ID if you’re an eligible officer of:

  • a company, a registered Australian body or a registered foreign company under the Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act)
  • an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act).

An eligible officer is a person who is appointed as:

  • a director  
  • an alternate director who is acting in that capacity.

Directors must apply for their director ID themselves because they need to verify their identity. No one can apply on their behalf.

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.

You can apply for your director ID from November 2021. Get ready to apply by setting up your myGovID if you don’t already have one.

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 at How to set up myGovIDExternal link
  • have a myGovID, you don’t need to do anything until November when you can apply for your director ID.

Step 2 – Gather your 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 two documents to verify your identity.

Examples of the documents you can use to verify your identity include:

  • 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

Once you have a standard or strong identity strength myGovID, and your documents, from November 2021 you can log in here and apply for your director ID. The application process should take less than 5 minutes.

Manage your director ID

Once you have your director ID, there are important steps you can take to help you use, view and update your details from November 2021.

Using your director ID

When you receive your director ID, you need to pass it on to your company or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation record-holder. This could be your company secretary, another director, contact person or an authorised agent of the company.

If you are appointed as a director of any other companies or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations, in the future, you also need to give your director ID to the people responsible for maintaining the records of those companies or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations.

View or update your details

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.

You can:

  • check your director ID number and status, including when it was issued
  • view things to do, actions in progress and past activity
  • edit your profile preferences and some of your personal details.

If you don’t have a myGovID, and you want to find your director ID number or update your details from November 2021 you can contact us.

Protect your identity

Your director ID confirms your identity and traces your relationships to companies.

Directors have obligations under the law. You should only give your written consent to being appointed as a director if you will play an active role in overseeing the company’s business affairs.

There are strict rules around how director IDs can be used. For now, your director ID will not be searchable by the public. The Registrar will consult the community about if and when this should change.