A director ID is a unique 15 digit number used to identify anyone who is a director of a company. 

It is NOT automatically issued when a person first becomes a director of a company – instead you must apply for one via the Australian Business Registry Service (ABRS).

Why do I need a director ID?

A director ID is a unique identifier, a bit like your Tax File Number (TFN) that you'll apply for once and keep forever. It will help prevent the use of false or fraudulent director identities.

Do I need a separate director ID for every company of which I’m a director?

No.  A director ID is a unique number for you as an individual, no matter how many companies you are involved in. 

Do I need a director ID if the only company I’m involved in is my SMSF trustee?

Yes, anyone who is a director of any company must have a director ID.

What is my deadline?

It depends on when you were first appointed as a director (of any company).

  • If this was before 1 November 2021, you have until 30 November 2022 to apply for your director ID
  • If it was between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022, you would need to have applied for your director ID within 28 days of becoming a director
  • If you first become a director on or after 5 April 2022, you would need to have applied before you become a director of a company

What if I was a director of a company on 31 October 2021 but since ceased to be a director and have no intention of ever being a director again?

Under proposed changes, you will be exempt from the rules and won't need to apply for a director ID provided:

  • you cease to be a director of all companies before 1 December 2022 and
  • ASIC is advised of your resignation within 28 days of the change.

But be careful - if you are still a member of an SMSF, resigning as a director can impact your fund's compliance with other super laws. Contact us or your accountant/adviser to discuss your situation.

How do I apply?

Anyone who is (or is going to become) a director of a company can apply online, by phone or using this paper form.

Follow this link for details of how to apply. This webpage includes a short video explaining the process.

Unfortunately this is not something your accountant, adviser or SMSF administrator can do on your behalf – all of us must apply for our own director ID via one of these methods.

To complete the application process, you need to be able to prove your identity using information or documents like your Australian passport, driver's licence etc. You'll also need other information the ATO knows about you such as bank account details, an ATO notice of assessment, a dividend statement for shares you own in your own name, a Centrelink payment summary etc. You won't be able to use the details of your SMSF to confirm your identify.

To speed up the process, have multiple sources of information handy before you start.

How will I receive my director ID?

Once you have been through the online application process, your director ID will appear on your screen – you can opt to have a print friendly version saved as a PDF. The ABRS won’t be sending paper copies but you can login to the ABRS website any time to see it again.

If you apply via phone, take a note of your director ID when it is told to you just in case you don't end up receiving a notification in the mail.

What do I do with my director ID once I have it?

You will need to provide your director ID to any company of which you are a director. In the future, we expect the company will need to use your director ID when dealing with ASIC but ASIC haven’t updated any of their forms yet. (Where Heffron is your ASIC agent, we will do this on your behalf once ASIC require it.)

For now, all you need to do is:

  • apply for your director ID within the required timeframe, and
  • if Heffron is your ASIC agent, contact us to tell us of your director ID so we can record it securely for you.

Can I get more help?

We held a webinar on Tuesday 30 November 2021. You can access the recording and the slides below.