The move, part of the next phase of its Modernising Business Registers program, comes as the Commissioner of Taxation is appointed as the Commonwealth Registrar of the new Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS).
The ABRS, once fully established, will bring together ASIC’s 31 business registers and the Australian Business Register onto a new modern system at the ATO.
The director identification number (director ID) regime will be first function of the ABRS, with private testing with a number of existing directors set to run until 31 October.
Once testing concludes, directors will be able to access the ABRS using their myGovID to supply a number of identity documents to acquire the unique identifier which they will keep permanently, even if they cease to be a director, change their name, or move interstate or overseas.
Provisional deadlines set by the Treasury will see all directors required to obtain a director ID by 30 November 2022. Directors of Indigenous corporations which are governed by the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act) will be given until 30 November 2023 to do so.
Individuals who are seeking appointment after the 30 November 2022 deadline will be required to obtain a director ID prior to being appointed as a director.
The director ID regime is expected to cover 10 per cent of Australia’s 25.7 million population.
‘Cheaper, faster and easier’
The government will then move the companies register, the business names register and Australian business numbers to the ABRS in a bid to improve the user experience and simplify the way people interact with business registers.
With an average of 224,000 new company registrations in Australia each year, the government expects the new ABRS to provide business owners with a single entry point through the ATO to establish their business, rather than the current system that has up to seven entry points for various business registry interactions needed to establish a business.
For the 2.7 million registered companies on the Australian Company Register, the transition to the ABRS will streamline their annual business registry engagement with the government.
“This is a significant move towards the Morrison government’s goal of ‘digital first’ government services, offering faster, more convenient and more cost-effective services to existing businesses and those looking to start a new business,” said the Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and the Digital Economy, Senator Jane Hume.
“Efficient, online government services will help make it cheaper, faster and easier to start and run a business in Australia.
“Modernising business registers with a one-stop shop, replacing the current 31 registers, is part of our government’s commitment to Australia becoming a leading digital economy and society by 2030.”
Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.