Digital credentials for Centrelink Business Online Services

Government and the private sector are adopting the use of the digital credential to provide additional security for their online customers.

We recognise the need to make it easy for your business to interact on line while protecting your security and privacy. Digital credentials provide strong authentication, making online services even more secure.

When you use a digital credential for online services, you can be confident the information exchanged is protected and cannot be read by anyone other than the recipient. The information cannot be tampered with during transmission, and senders have evidence they performed the transaction.

Types of digital credentials

We will accept an ATO digital certificate or AUSkey as the credential to provide access to our online services. Business will benefit from using the one credential to access the department’s and other government online services rather than having separate credentials (such as passwords).

ATO Digital Certificate

In May 2010, the ATO ceased issuing or renewing ATO certificates and now directs business users to obtain the new AUSkey instead. We will continue to accept valid ATO digital certificates for as long as they remain in use.

There are two types of ATO digital certificates—primary and secondary certificates. The primary certificate has been replaced by the Administrator AUSkey, and the secondary certificate has been replaced by the Standard AUSkey.


AUSkey replaces the ATO digital certificate and will become the single credential for business to government authentication.

There are two types of AUSkey credentials—Administrator AUSkey and Standard AUSkey.

  • Administrator AUSkey holders view, register, and manage all AUSkeys for the business
  • Standard AUSkey holders can log in to Australian Business Register (ABR), view or update their own AUSkey details and passwords, and use their AUSkey for authentication to many government online services

In many cases, the person who holds an Administrator AUSkey would not transact on line with the department. Persons who transact on line with us would generally hold a Standard AUSkey, and for each business user ID a unique AUSkey is required. The person who holds an Administrator AUSkey for a business can issue Standard AUSkeys for anyone in the business.

You can install your ATO digital certificate and AUSkey on your computer, a USB drive, or both. ATO digital certificates and AUSkeys are free. To find out more visit the Australian Business Register website.

Using your digital credential

If your business has a digital credential and a business online account with us, all you need to do is link the credential with our Business Online Services. Link your credential as follows:

  • Enter your User ID and Password to be validated by us
  • Once validated, you will be asked to digitally sign your credential with the Government Authentication Service
  • You will then be returned to our Business Online Services page

Each time you use your digital credential to access our Business Online Services, you will be validated by the Government Authentication Service.

Registering for AUSkey

If you already have an Administrator AUSkey, you will need to request a Standard AUSkey to be issued.

If you do not currently have a digital credential, you can register for an AUSkey credential with the Australian Business Register. Simply access the registration page and follow the directions provided. The process will capture the Administrator and Standard credential holders’ details in subsequent steps.

The time and the number of steps involved in the registration for an AUSkey vary depending on the particular business and on the verification information provided at registration. The process should not take longer than an hour if you provide a tax file number and answer all verification fields correctly.

Page last updated: 22 February 2019

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