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Australian Tax Office is Modernising Business Registers

The ATO and Australian Government has announced the implementation of the Modernising Business Registers (MBR) program as part of its Digital Business Plan. The main objective behind this advancement is to:

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

What Includes MBR Program?

The Modernising Business Registers program is designed to establish a new and modern registry service known as the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS). The goal of the ABRS is to:

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

Not only this, the program is aimed at making it easier for businesses to meet their registration obligations, that is by giving them some more time to focus on customers and business operations. It also aims at improving the efficiency of registry service transactions and making business information more trusted and valuable.

Milestones Of The ABRS Program

The ABRS high-level milestones are formulated to achieve the following:

  • establishing the foundation for the new registry service
  • introducing director IDs
  • transitioning existing registers to the new registry service, such as:
  1. companies
  2. business names
  3. Australian business numbers (ABNs)
  4. professional and historical registers.

To help the ATO in designing and implementing the Modernising Business Registers program, several consultation groups have been established, including the MBR Business Advisory Group and MBR Design Working Group.

Administering the MBR program

Last year, on 4th 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, perform the statutory registry functions, and exercise powers under the relevant laws. Also, assisting the ASIC to perform statutory registry functions and exercising its powers as a delegate of ASIC.