Company law: What are the new director identification requirements?

Australian company directors will need to verify their identity under new statutory requirements, starting from November 2021. This article outlines the Director Identification Number (DIN) requirements, and how you can apply for one to ensure legal compliance.

 

What is a Director Identification Number?

A Director Identification Number (DIN) is a unique 15-digit number used to identify a director. It is similar to a tax file number, in the sense that you can apply for it once and keep it forever.

 

Who needs to apply for a Director Identification number?

Directors will need to apply for a DIN if their organisation is a:

  • company;
  • registered foreign company;
  • registered Australian body; or
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation.

 

Directors will need to apply for a DIN themselves. No one can apply for a DIN on your behalf, as you will need to verify your identity in the application.

 

When do I need to apply for a Director Identification Number?

All directors will need to apply for a Director Identification Number, starting from 1 November 2021. However, specific dates apply for new directors.

 

If you are a director under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), the following rules apply:
  • If you are already a director or are appointed as a director on or before 31 October 2021, then you must apply for a DIN by 30 November 2022.
  • If you become a director between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022, you must apply for a DIN within 28 days of appointment.
  • If you become a director on or after 5 April 2022, you must apply for a DIN before your appointment.

 

If you are a director under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cth), the following rules apply:
  • If you are already a director or are appointed as a director on or before 31 October 2022, then you must apply for a DIN by 30 November 2023.
  • If you become a director on or after 1 November 2022, you must apply for a DIN before your appointment.

 

How do I apply for a Director Identification Number?

Directors can apply for a DIN by:

  • Setting up a myGovID and applying online;
  • Filling out a paper form and sending to the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS); or
  • Calling the ABRS and applying for a DIN by phone.

 

Who is responsible for implementing the new director identification laws?

 

What happens if I don’t apply for a Director Identification Number?

Directors should apply for a Director Identification Number to avoid civil or criminal penalties under the law.

 

Why do I need a Director Identification Number?

The introduction of DINs are designed to prevent fraud and unlawful activity. Director identification numbers also make it easier for authorities to regulate and track company and director details.

 

Key takeaways

  • Directors need to apply for a Director Identification Number from November 2021, with specific application dates for new directors.
  • Directors should set up a myGovID and apply for a DIN as soon as possible from November 2021 to avoid breaching their director obligations.

 

Gladwin Legal are experts in corporate law and have extensive experience in advising businesses. If you would like to know how we can help, please contact us at or 1300 033 934.