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New Identification Requirements For Company Directors

The new Director Identification Number is an initiative eyed to prevent director involvement in unlawful activities and make it easier for external administrators and regulators to trace directors’ relationships with companies over time.

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The director identification number (director ID) was introduced on 1 November 2021 in the government’s efforts to prevent the use of false or fraudulent director identities. This unique 15-digit identifier is given to a director who has verified their identity with the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS).

The launch of the director ID was part of the Government’s Modernisation of Business Registers (MBR) Program. This initiative is intended to prevent director involvement in unlawful activities and make it easier for external administrators and regulators to trace directors’ relationships with companies over time.

Do I need a Director Identification Number (DIN)?

If you’re a director of a company, yes, you do. All directors are legally mandated to verify their identity and apply for a DIN. Only company directors can use it for their own DIN, and no one can apply on their behalf. The ID stays with the director for a lifetime regardless of whether they stopped being a director or transferred to another company.

You will need a DIN if you are a director of any of the following:

  • Company
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation
  • Corporate trustee
  • Charity or not-for-profit organisation
  • Registered Australian body registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
  • Foreign company registered with ASIC and carrying on business in Australia

When do I need to apply for a DIN?

Different deadlines are set for the application for a Director Identification Number, depending on the date you become a director.

For Corporations Act directors, you must:

  • Apply for a director ID by 30 November 2022 if you became a director on or before 31 October 2021
  • Apply for a director ID within 28 days of appointment if you became a director between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022
  • Apply for a director ID before your work if you become a director from 5 April 2022

For CATSI Act directors, you must:

  • Apply for a director ID by 30 November 2023 if you become a director on or before 31 October 2022
  • Apply for a director ID before your appointment if you become a director from 1 November 2022

How do I apply for a DIN?

Directors who wish to apply for a DIN can do it online using the myGovID app. This application is downloadable on both Android and iOS devices.

Step 1: Set up your myGovID

Download the app and get a myGovID with a Standard or Strong identity strength. Those living outside Australia may need to apply with a paper form and submit certified copies of their identity documents.

Step 2: Prepare your documents

The following are needed to apply for a DIN:

  • Tax file number (TFN)
  • Residential address as held by the ATO
  • Information from any two of the following to verify your identity (bank account details, ATO notice of assessment, super account details, dividend statement, Centrelink payment summary, PAYG payment summary)

Step 3: Complete your application

You may now log in and apply for a DIN on the ABRS website. Use the same email you used to create your myGovID account. Your DIN will be issued immediately after entering all the necessary information.

Getting a Director Identification Number is a part of your obligations as a director. Failure to comply is a criminal offence under the Corporations Act. If you have any questions regarding this new legislation or need assistance setting up your own Director Identification Number, you may contact us. We’d be happy to help.

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