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  • Modernising Business Registers

    As part of the 2020 Budget Digital Business Plan, the government announced the full implementation of the Modernising Business Registers (MBR) program.

    This program will:

    • establish the new Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS)
    • streamline how you register, view and maintain your business information with government.

    We will roll-out the program progressively. You don't need to do anything now.

    On this page:

    About the MBR program

    The MBR program will establish a new modern registry service – the ABRS which will:

    • progressively roll out between 2021 and 2024
    • bring together the Australian Business Register (ABR) and 31 Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) registers in one place
    • introduce the director identification number (director ID) initiative.

    The program aims to:

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

    The ABRS 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.

    See also:

    What's changing

    On 15 April 2021, ASIC registry staff will move to the ATO, in a Machinery of Government (MoG) administrative change to help the Registrar.

    This is a staffing change only. It doesn't change your registry obligations, how you interact with the ASIC registers or the ABR, at this time.

    As the program rolls out, we will keep you up-to-date with any changes that may affect you.

    We will soon start testing the director ID application process in a private beta. To find out more, see Director identification number.

    What's not changing

    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.

    How you register, search and get extracts of the registers, and interact with the ABR and ASIC remains the same.

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

    See also:

    Administering the MBR program

    On 4 April 2021, the Commissioner of Taxation was appointed as Registrar 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 and perform statutory registry functions and exercise powers under the relevant laws. Initially, this will also include assisting ASIC 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.

    The MBR program is being rolled out by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) working in partnership with:

    • Treasury
    • ASIC
    • Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources
    • Digital Transformation Agency.

    See also:

    Director identification number

    The MBR program includes the introduction of a director identification number (director ID) – a unique identifier that a director will keep forever.

    Directors don’t need to do anything now. Soon we will start testing the new application process in a private beta to ensure a seamless user experience.

    When it's time to apply, directors will be able to use ABRS online services and will sign in using the myGovID app. To find out more, visit How to set up myGovIDExternal Link

    It’s important the identity of directors is verified.

    This will:

    • help prevent the use of fictitious director identities and make it easier for government regulators to trace directors’ relationships with companies over time
    • go a long way to better identifying and eliminating director involvement in unlawful activity, such as illegal phoenix activity.

    To find out about public consultation, visit the Treasury websiteExternal Link.

    Keep checking this page for updates.

      Last modified: 13 Apr 2021QC 65283