13 April 2021

Next phase in Modernising Business Registers

The Morrison Government has today announced a key milestone in the Modernising Business Registers (MBR) program that will establish a new whole-of-government registry platform.

The appointment of the Commissioner of Taxation as the Commonwealth Registrar (the Registrar) of the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS), signifies the commencement of the next phase of the MBR program.

The new ABRS, once fully established, will bring together ASIC’s 31 business registers and the Australian Business Register onto a new modern system at the ATO.

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 entrypoint 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, these reforms will streamline their annual business registry engagement with the Government, helping SMEs to save time and money.

The new system will improve transparency of publicly held company data by creating a single source of trusted and accessible business data that will provide efficient registry service delivery. It will also provide businesses with real time access to their data and allow them to have more visibility and confidence in their transaction partners.

The Registrar will have ongoing flexibility to adapt and respond to changes in technology to improve the user experience and simplify the way people interact with business registers.

Director identification numbers (director ID) will be the first new function of the ABRS to be delivered later this year and is a new requirement for all company directors. Director ID will be a unique identifier that a director will keep forever. An individual will keep their director ID even if they cease to be a director, change their name, or move interstate or overseas.

Verifying the identity of directors is important for improving data integrity and helping regulators to detect and deal with illegal phoenixing activities. The Registrar will notify company directors of their obligations under the new director ID regime.

You can keep up to date with the MBR program at the ATO website.