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What is a Director Identification Number (DIN)?

New laws were passed earlier this year introducing a Director Identification Number (DIN) requirement for all existing and new directors of entities registered under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Corporations Act) or the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cth) (CATSI Act). This includes all entities registered with ASIC:

  • public companies

  • private companies (including corporate trustees)

  • Australian and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) corporations

  • registered foreign companies

  • incorporated associations with an Australian Registered Body Number (ARBN), and

  • some charities (if incorporated and/or with an ARBN).

The DIN regime will be administered by the ATO. Your DIN is a unique identifier that you will only need to apply for once, and you keep forever.

Why DINs have been introduced

The key objective of the DIN regime is to promote good corporate conduct by:

  • enabling tracking of directors and their relationship across companies

  • ensuring the corporate history of directors is easily accessible

  • verifying the identity of directors to reduce fraud, and

  • limiting opportunities for “phoenixing” activities.

Penalties apply for non-compliance with the DIN regime.

Who needs to register for a DIN

Every director of a company or other entities listed with ASIC is required to register for a DIN. This includes foreign directors of Australian companies or other Australian registered bodies who do not reside in Australia. Directors must register for their DIN personally—you cannot ask any other person to register on your behalf.

Who doesn’t need to register for a DIN

Registration for a DIN is not needed for:

  • a company secretary that is not also a director

  • a person acting as an external administrator of a company

  • a person running a business as a sole trader or partnership

  • a person with a job title “director” who is not appointed as a director under the Corporations Act or the CATSI Act

  • a director of a registered charity with an organisation type that is not registered with ASIC to operate throughout Australia, and

  • an officer of an unincorporated association, cooperative or incorporated association established under state or territory legislation, unless the organisation has an ARBN or is registered with the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC).

When to register for a DIN

From 1 November 2021 directors will need to register for a DIN. We recommend applying for the DIN as soon as possible. The deadline for registration depends on the date you became a director:

Date you became a director (under Corporations Act) Deadline for obtaining a DIN
Before 1 November 2021 30 November 2022
Between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022 Within 28 days of appointment
On or after 5 April 2022 Prior to appointment
Date you became a director (under CATSI Act) Deadline for obtaining a DIN
On or before 31 October 2022 30 November 2023
On or after 1 November 2022 Prior to appointment

 

What you need to register for a DIN

  • Your tax file number (TFN) (not required for every director, such as foreign-based directors, but we advise having this on hand for registration if you do have one)

  • Your residential address as held by the ATO

  • Information from two documents to verify your identity, such as:

    • driver’s licence

    • passport

    • Medicare card

    • bank account details

    • an ATO notice of assessment

    • super account details

    • a dividend statement

    • a Centrelink payment summary, or

    • PAYG payment summary.

How to register for a DIN

To register for a DIN you will need to gather the necessary details, register a myGovID account (which is different to the “myGov” account), and then apply for the DIN on the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) website. Although the ABRS website indicates that the process will take five minutes, our experience has shown that it will take closer to 30 minutes to complete the whole application and registration process.

The following are detailed instructions for registration:

  • Download the myGovID app on your smartphone and enter your email address.

  • Verify your email with the passcode that is sent to your email.

  • Verify your identity within your new myGovID app:

    • as a minimum you will require a “Standard” identity strength, which requires two forms of ID

    • you can provide additional identification details following the myGovID app instructions to gain “Strong” identity strength, including face recognition, but these are optional, and

    • you may be required to input your TFN, if applicable.

  • Once you have at least a “Standard” strength of ID in the myGovID app you can go to the ABRS website and complete your application.

  • Use your email to log-in and you will be sent a 4-digit passcode to your MyGovID app.

  • Follow the instructions on the ARBS website to complete the application.

What you need to do with your DIN

When you receive your DIN, you will need to:

  • provide it to the company or companies of which you are currently a director (to the company secretary, another director, or authorised agent of the company)

  • provide it to any company or companies you become a director of in the future

  • ensure that you keep a record of your DIN somewhere safe, and

  • keep your personal details up to date, including name, role and address, using the myGovID app. Directors must notify the company secretary (or other person(s) responsible for updating officeholders’ details) within seven days of any change where the entity is registered under the Corporations Act, and within 14 days of any change where the entity is registered under the CATSI Act.

Privacy

DINs cannot be searched by the public, but they may become searchable in the future. The ABRS can only disclose your DIN to you or to:

  • someone you give permission to disclose to

  • certain commonwealth, state and territory government bodies, and

  • courts and tribunals.

 Please contact us if you have any queries.

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