Bonus Article, Change of menu for business registration, and director ID regime is the entrée

The Modernising Business Registers program is well and truly under way, with Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) Registry employees already sharing office space and coffee mug cupboards with ATO staff.

The plan is to unify the Australian Business Register (ABR) and 31 separate business registers administered by ASIC onto a single platform. The rolling out of the several functions under the plan is taking place between 2021 and 2024.

This platform will be administered by the Commonwealth Registrar under legislation and as a separate statutory function of the ATO. It has now been announced that Chris Jordan, the Taxation Commissioner, has also been appointed the new Commonwealth Registrar of Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS).

The Federal Government says there are on average 224,000 new company registrations in Australia each year. The new ABRS will mean for each new registration, business owners will have 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, it is envisaged the new ABRS functionality will streamline their annual business registry engagement with government.

Stated high-level milestones are to:

  • establish the foundations for the new registry service
  • introduce director identification numbers
  • transition the companies register to the new registry service
  • transition the business names register to the new registry service
  • transition Australian business numbers to the new registry service
  • transition the professional and historical registers to the new registry service.

As flagged, the full plan includes the introduction of a director identification number (DIN), which is slated to be the first function established by the new ABRS, which has set a final date of 30 November 2022 for this to be fully implemented. For now, private beta testing with a number of existing directors is set to run until 31 October this year.

When it’s time to apply, directors will be able to use ABRS online services and will sign in using the myGovID app. (If you need to find out more, you can visit How to set up myGovID). 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.