ArticleDirector Identification Numbers (DIN)

From November 2021, directors of Australian companies will need to apply for and verify their identity as part of a new statutory requirement for them to have a Director Identification Number (“DIN”).

Applications for DINs will open from November 2021.

Key actions required:

  • Apply for a myGovID;
  • Using your myGovID, apply for a DIN via the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) website
  • Provide details of your DIN to the company

Note, if you become a director for the first time after 1 November 2021, more urgent action will be required on your behalf. The introduction of the DIN regime and the application process has been outlined in further detail below.

 

What is a DIN?

A DIN is a 15-digit identification number used by each eligible director as proof of their identity.

Directors of certain charities and not-for-profits may also require a DIN. Directors of
incorporated associations registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission should generally not need to apply for a DIN.

Directors will only need to apply once for a DIN. They will keep their DIN forever even if they change companies, stop being a director, change their name or move overseas.

The DIN regime was created to promote good corporate conduct, detect, deter and penalise directors’ involvement in the illegal phoenixing of companies and generally improve the integrity of corporate data. It will also allow regulators and advisors to obtain a more complete picture of a director’s corporate history, whether companies have participated in related party transactions and whether directors have had conflicts of interest.

The DIN regime will be administered by the recently created Australian Business Registry Services (“ABRS”).

 

Timeframe for Applying

Applying for a DIN will depend on the date you become a Director, as follows:

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

 

If you cannot apply by the required date you will need to request an extension.

 

Application Process?

Directors will be able to apply for their DIN from November 2021. They must apply for their DIN themselves, rather than have someone else do so on their behalf.

The ABRS has provided preliminary information about the application process on its website, with further details released in January 2022.

 

Obtain a myGovID

The ABRS currently recommends that directors apply for a myGovID in preparation for when applications will open. You can apply for a myGovID at : https://www.mygovid.gov.au/set-up

It should be noted that the myGovID is different from myGov. MyGovID is an app that you download to a smart device to prove who you are and log into a range of government services, including myGov.

 

How to Apply

The application process will open from November at: https://www.abrs.gov.au/director-identification-number/apply-director-identification-number

The preferred way to apply will be via your myGovID. If you are unable to obtain a myGovID, it will still be possible to apply for a DIN via an over the phone application or a paper application.

Once you have received your DIN, you should provide it to the company record-holder. This could be a company secretary, another director, contact person or an authorised agent of the company.

 

Overseas Directors

Directors who reside outside of Australia can make a paper application from November 2021. They will also need to provide certified copies of various identity documents.

 

Be Prepared

All Australian companies should ensure their directors are aware of the requirements and their obligations under this new regime.

This is most important for any new directors who are appointed after 1 November 2021, as they must apply for their DIN within 28 days of their appointment. Existing directors have a longer grace period within which to apply.

Directors who fail to apply for a DIN within the above stipulated time frames, may face criminal or civil penalties.

Author: Gary Immerman - Director