The tax office is cracking down on dodgy company directors with a new identification system that will stick with them for life.
Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan will oversee the new regime as part of a national business registry system.
It aims to modernise and streamline the company registry, bringing together dozens of records held by the corporate regulator and the agency responsible for Australian Business Numbers or ABNs.
"Under this modernised system, businesses will be able to register a business and maintain the details of those registrations in one location," Mr Jordan told a Senate hearing on Wednesday.
One of the new tools will be a director identification number.
"Those numbers will stay with directors for life, even if they stop working as a director, change their name or move interstate or overseas," Mr Jordan said.
He said it would be a tool in the fight against illegal phoenix activity, where dodgy executives strip down their businesses and transfer assets to others, avoiding paying outstanding costs.
"The direct impact of illegal phoenix activity is estimated to be up five billions each year," he said.
"We do want to make it easier for businesses to comply with their obligations, but we do want to make it difficult for those who seek to rort the system. The (register) is a great way to help us to do just that."