The deadline for existing directors of Australian companies to obtain a Director Identification Number is 30 November 2022.
All directors of a company, registered Australian body, registered foreign company or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation (ATSI) will need a director ID. This includes directors of a corporate trustee of a self-managed super fund (SMSF).
A director ID is a 15 digit identification number that, once issued, will remain with that director for life regardless of whether they stop being a director, change companies, change their name, or move overseas.
For those who have been a director since 31 October 2021, the deadline for obtaining a director ID is 30 November 2022 unless you are a director of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation, then the deadline is 30 November 2023.
For overseas directors, the process to obtain a director ID can be onerous as applications cannot be made online. In addition to the paper application form, you will need copies of one primary and one secondary identity document (or primary identity documents) certified by notaries public or at an Australian embassy.
For those who have been invited to become a director but are not a director as yet, if you do not have a director ID, you will need to obtain one prior to being appointed.
You do not need a director ID if you are running a business as a sole trader or partnership, or you are a director in your job title but have not been appointed as a director under the Corporations Act or Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act (CATSI).
Need an extension?
If you need an extension, as soon as possible contact the Australian Business Registry service on 13 62 50 (+61 2 6216 3440 outside of Australia). Your identity will need to be established so have your documentation ready. You can also apply for an extension using the paper form (https://www.abrs.gov.au/sites/default/files/2021-10/Application_for_an_extension_of_time_to_apply_for_a_director_ID.pdf)
What happens if I don’t obtain an ID?
If you are required to obtain a director ID but don’t, a criminal penalty of up to $13,200 might apply or a civil penalty of up to $1,100,000. Where an individual has deliberately applied for multiple IDs or misrepresented the director ID, the criminal penalty escalates to $26,640 and up to one year in prison.
This article was originally published in the 'Your Knowledge' newsletter
Note: The material and contents provided in this publication are informative in nature only. It is not intended to be advice and you should not act specifically on the basis of this information alone. If expert assistance is required, professional advice should be obtained.