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ABR updates – Director Identification Number

 

ABR updates – Director Identification Number

As part of the Modernising Business Registers (MBR) program, the Australian Business Register (ABR), along with 31 registers administered by ASIC, will be unified into a single system. Management of this master system will be overseen by the ATO and will include details for:

  • companies
  • business names
  • Australian business numbers (ABN) and others.

It is reported that the new system will better help users fulfil their registration obligations, allow easy change and amending of details, while reducing time spent interacting with registry systems. The current ABR and other governing systems will continue to operate as per normal until further notice.

Director Identification Number (DIN)

One key component of the new program is the introduction of a Director Identification Number.  This is a unique identifier that will stay with an individual for life.  The aim is to limit illegal phoenix activity, prevent appointment of fictitious directors (Mickey Mouse and Homer Simpson are two of our most prolific directors) and provide a fairer and more transparent system.

Illegal phoenix activity is when a new company is created to continue the business of a company that has been deliberately liquidated to avoid paying its debts, including:

  • Taxes
  • Creditors
  • Employee entitlements.[1]

Every existing director, or new director, will be required to have a DIN and will be able to transact with government agencies using this number.

While some see this as one more overreach of government, it is likely to provide additional security by allowing the removal of currently publically available personal information from general view.

However – there is no action required yet.  The design of the new registry, DIN application process and associated security measures are still at the development stage and not likely to come into effect for another year or two. We will provide further information when it is available.

In the meantime:

We will be on the lookout for any inconsistencies in the information we handle to compile a list of data to be consolidated once the DIN application process opens.

Should you have any questions about your current director status or information on the current registers, please speak with your usual partner.

[1] Australian Business Register Update

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