The Commissioner’s Emporium: business registration breaking new ground
On 13 April 2021, the Commonwealth Government announced the next phase of the Modernising Business Registers (MBR) program which will establish a new whole-of-government registry platform to be administered by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
We set out the proposed changes in more detail below.
Consolidation of business registers
The MBR will establish the ‘Australian Business Registry Services’ (ABRS) which will see the consolidation of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC) 31 business registers and the Australian Business Register (which administers Australian Business Numbers (ABNs)) into a new system with 32 registers all administered by the ATO.
Director ID regime
The first new function of the ABRS will be the introduction of Director Identification Numbers (DINs) later in the year. DINs will be unique identifiers used to identify all company directors, even after the director ceases to be a director, changes their name, moves interstate or overseas. This move is part of the Commonwealth Government’s move to eradicate illegal phoenixing activity.
The Registrar of the ABRS will be responsible for the implementation of Director Identification Numbers and will provide registry services on behalf of ASIC. As the MBR program is phased out further, the Registrar of the ABRS will also become responsible for all 32 registers.
The Commissioner’s Emporium
The Commonwealth Government has confirmed that the ATO’s reach will expand as the Commissioner accepts his appointment as the Registrar of the new ABRS.
Notwithstanding, the new stage of the MBR program is welcome news for the simplification of company registrations in Australia. The introduction of the ABRS will mean each new company registration will require only a single entry-point via the ATO for a full service establishment of a business, rather than the current system which can require up to seven entry-points for various business registry interactions to establish one business.
For companies which are already registered, the new system will streamline their annual engagement business registries into one contact point, ensuring time and cost efficiency for SMEs particularly.
The changes are expected to be rolled-out progressively between 2021 and 2024.
The ATO has confirmed that the current registers and information services remain unchanged for the time being. If you would nevertheless like to discuss how the MBR program may impact your business, please reach out to a member of our team below.
In a nutshell
- Introduction of the ‘Australian Business Registry Services’
- ABRS to consolidate 32 existing business registers (e.g. ACNs and ABNs administered from one system)
- Introduction of Director Identification Numbers
- Administration to be handled by ATO
This publication covers legal and technical issues in a general way. It is not designed to express opinions on specific cases. It is intended for information purposes only and should not be regarded as legal advice. Further advice should be obtained before taking action on any issue dealt with in this publication.