The new Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) will streamline how businesses interact with government and manage their registry obligations, providing one unified source of trusted business information. Modernising business registers is a key reform under the government’s Deregulation Agenda.
The Commissioner of Taxation has been appointed as the Registrar under the:
- Business Names Registration Act 2011
- Commonwealth Registers Act 2020
- Corporations Act 2001
- National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009.
The ABRS has been established to assist the Registrar to carry out their functions. The Registrar has separate and distinct responsibilities from the Commissioner of Taxation, including administering director identification numbers and assisting the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to manage its registry functions. The Commissioner of Taxation remains Registrar of the Australian Business Register (ABR) under the A New Tax System (Australian Business Number) Act 1999.
The ABRS is a custodian of trusted business information and world-class provider of associated services used by businesses, governments and communities to unlock economic and social value for Australia.
Through the Modernising Business Registers (MBR) program, the ABRS will bring together 31 ASIC registers and the ABR on a new, modern system, with high levels of reliability, accessibility and security. The MBR program will also deliver director identification numbers, which will help regulators and external administrators investigate a director’s involvement in what may be repeated unlawful activity, including illegal phoenix activity.
The ABRS is a new service that will be progressively established as the MBR program is implemented over the coming years. ABRS will provide:
- effective, efficient and accessible business registry services that reduce the regulatory burden for business
- a unified, accessible and trusted source of business data that supports the activities of businesses, governments and the community
- robust identity verification and relationship traceability for directors, which will foster trust and confidence by creating a fairer business environment.
Our risk focus is on ensuring the integrity of our registers. We have well-established systems of risk oversight and management that align with the Commonwealth Risk Management Policy and section 16 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.
The Registrar of ABRS has entered into an operational memorandum of understanding (MOU) with ASIC regarding the management of ASIC’s registry functions. Under this MOU, the ATO and ASIC will work together to ensure appropriate oversight and collaboration on registry-related risks.
Our risk focus is also on the successful delivery of the MBR program. In addition to internal risk management systems, the program undergoes regular independent reviews to provide assurance and advice to support implementation.
Establish the Australian Business Registry Services – Operationalise a single business registry service, including director identification numbers, to streamline services and make it simpler for businesses to interact with government.
The ABR program, which forms part of ABRS, works with government, digital service providers, the business community and other key stakeholders to support a fairer business environment that fosters greater economic growth and job creation. This will be achieved through increased use of a trusted national business dataset and consistent information exchange standards through Standard Business Reporting (sbr.gov.auExternal Link).
The two ABRS performance measures are:
- Increased use of the ABR – increased use of the ABR as the national business dataset
- Reduced administrative costs – reduction in the administrative cost to businesses and government in dealing with each other.
The Registrar of ABRS is now responsible for assisting ASIC to perform its registry functions (under a delegation from ASIC). This includes reporting against the associated performance measures, via this delegate model, from 2021–22. As ASIC registers are migrated to the new registry system, the Registrar will assume primary responsibility for registry functions and associated reporting.
The ATO will continue to deliver existing ABR and ASIC registry services as we work to modernise business registers and fully establish the ABRS. Our commitments include implementing reforms to strengthen the Australian business number (ABN) system, and further development of api.gov.auExternal Link. As we work to transform registry services, our priority is to ensure a smooth and seamless transition for our clients and our staff.
The ATO will continue to progressively implement the MBR program. Director identification numbers will be the first function delivered by ABRS in late 2021.
ABRS program capability requirements are included in Organisational capability.