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  • Modernising Business Registers

    As part of its Digital Business Plan, the government announced the full implementation of the Modernising Business Registers (MBR) program to:

    • establish Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS)
    • streamline how you register, view and maintain your business information with government
    • introduce a digital inbox for business to securely access and view correspondence and messages from us.

    Keep checking this page for updates. We'll add information as the MBR program progresses.

    On this page

    About the MBR program

    The Modernising Business Registers (MBR) program aims to:

    • make it easier for businesses to meet their registration obligations – giving them more time to focus on their customers and business operations
    • improve the efficiency of registry service transactions
    • make business information more trusted and valuable.

    To do this we are establishing a new and modern registry service, Australian Business Registry ServicesExternal Link (ABRS). ABRS will:

    • progressively roll out between 2021 and 2024
    • bring the Australian Business Register (ABR) and more than 30 Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) registers together in one place
    • introduce the director identification number (director ID) initiative.

    The high-level milestones of the MBR program are to:

    • establish the foundations for ABRS and ABRS online
    • introduce director ID
    • move existing registers from ASIC and ABR to ABRS, including
      • companies (companies release)
      • business names
      • Australian business numbers (ABNs)
      • professional and historical registers
       
    • introduce a digital inbox for business.

    To help design and implement the MBR program, we are working with several consultation groups, including the:

    What's already changed

    As the program rolls out, we'll keep you updated with changes that may affect you.

    • In 2021 the director ID requirement was introduced with a new ABRS websiteExternal Link and online service to apply for a director ID.
    • On 15 April 2021, ASIC registry staff moved to the ATO in a machinery of government (MoG) administrative change to help the Registrar. This was a staffing change only. It doesn't change your registry obligations, how you interact with the ASIC registers or the ABR, at this time.

    What's not changing

    The following will not change with the program:

    • Registry data will continue to only be provided to other parties, including other areas of ASIC and the ATO
      • to maintain the registers
      • if authorised by law.
       
    • The existing requirements for the collection, storage, integration and management of data will be upheld.

    For now, how you register, search and get extracts of the registers, and interact with the ABR and ASIC remains the same. You can still search ASIC's registersExternal Link.

    There is a clear separation between registry functions and other functions of the ATO.

    How to get a director ID

    If you are currently a director, or plan to become one in the next 12 months, you’ll need a director ID. This includes anyone who is a director of a company or other body corporate registered under the Corporations Act 2001 or the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act).

    To find out more and to apply for a director ID, visit abrs.gov.au/directorIDExternal Link

    Companies release

    The companies release is a major milestone of the program. It will provide over 3 million companies with a more streamlined way to register, view and maintain company details using ABRS online. 

    Planned for later in the program, the companies release will move registry information to ABRS onlineExternal Link from the following ASICExternal Link registers: 

    • Australian public companies  
    • Australian private companies  
    • registered Australian bodies  
    • foreign companies.  

    Information and search services related to these 4 ASIC registers will also be available on ABRS. This includes ABN details and company search services.

    For now, we ask that you continue to keep your details with the ATO, ASIC and the ABR up to date, as you do now. This will ensure that when the time comes to transition your details, they are current.  

    Administering the MBR program

    On 4 April 2021, the Commissioner of Taxation was appointed as Registrar of the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) under the:

    • Business Names Registration Act 2011
    • Commonwealth Registers Act 2020
    • Corporations Act 2001
    • National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009.

    The Registrar's role is to:

    • lead and implement the MBR program
    • perform statutory registry functions
    • exercise powers under the relevant laws.

    Initially, this will also include assisting ASIC to perform statutory registry functions and exercise its powers as a delegate of ASIC. At a later stage, the Registrar will assume primary responsibility for those functions under law.

    We are rolling out the MBR program in partnership with the:

    • Treasury
    • Australian Securities & Investments Commission
    • Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources
    • Digital Transformation Agency.

    Legislation and media releases

    Refer to the supporting legislation and Prime Minister of Australia's media releases:

      Last modified: 06 May 2022QC 65283