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Director Identification Numbers

From November 2021, anyone holding a Director position or those planning on becoming a Director must apply for a DIN.

How to apply

The fastest way to obtain a DIN is to apply online on the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) website. This will require a myGovID account (note: this is different from a standard myGov account). There is no cost to apply.

myGovID is an app you download to your smart device. It lets you prove who you are and log in to a range of government online services, including myGov.

Should you not wish to download the app then you can also apply by phone or via paper noting that you will need to provide identification details when applying.

Directors must apply for a DIN themselves because they need to verify their identity. No one can apply on their behalf however, if you need help, the PKF team is here to guide you through this process.

Why

A DIN is a 15-digit identifier given to directors and incoming directors after they have verified their identity with the ABRS. Once issued, a director will retain their DIN for life, regardless of whether they change companies, cease to act, change their name or move interstate or overseas.

In particular, the introduction of Director IDs will serve to deter illegal phoenix activity, whereby directors continue business of a liquidated or abandoned company under a new vehicle for the purpose of avoiding old debts. The cost of these illegal phoenix activities is estimated to be approximately $3 billion to $5 billion on the Australian economy on an annual basis.

Read more about phoenixing here.

Who should apply

You need a DIN if you are a director, or an alternative director who is acting in that capacity of:

  • An Australian or foreign company under the Corporations Act 2001
  • A registered Australian body, such as an incorporated association registered with ASIC and which trades outside of the state of registration
  • An Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006.

An eligible officer is a person who is appointed as:

  • a director
  • an alternate director who is acting in that capacity.

What are the deadlines

Corporations Act directors

When you must apply for your director ID depends on the date you become a director.

Date you become a director

Date you must apply

On or before 31 October 2021

By 30 November 2022

Between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022

Within 28 days of appointment

From 5 April 2022

Before appointment

Directors must apply for a DIN themselves because they need to verify their identity. No one can apply on their behalf however, if you need help, the PKF team is here to guide you through this process.

Foreign resident directors

Please note that foreign resident directors will also have to obtain DINs within the same timeframes.

Foreign resident directors who have Australian documentation (e.g. Australian passport, Australian drivers licence, birth certificate, etc.) may still be able to apply as per the above options.

For all other foreign resident directors, it will be necessary to submit a paper application form along with certified copies of certain foreign identity documentation (e.g. foreign passport, foreign birth certificate, foreign drivers licence etc). These will need to be in English or translated into English by an approved translation service and certified as a true and correct copy by either a notary public or staff at an Australian embassy, high commission or consulate, including consulates headed by Austrade honorary consuls.

This is likely to be a difficult and time-consuming process and we recommend that the process be commenced as soon as possible.

Penalties for non-compliance

The penalties for non-compliance are steep. Directors who fail to obtain a DIN within the required timeframes may be issued an infringement notice and could face criminal charges and/or civil penalties of up to 5,000 penalty units (currently $1.11 million).

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