13 October 2021
In June 2020, legislation was passed to enable the rollout of Director Identification Numbers (DINs) for company directors. Now, the newly formed Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) is ready to start registering directors from November 2021. In this article, we revisit the requirements and look at what directors can do to prepare.
A DIN is a 15-digit identifier issued to a current or prospective director 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.
DINs are designed to improve transparency and accountability of directors – being able to trace a director’s company relationships will make it harder to engage in unlawful activities such as phoenixing, where a company is wound up or abandoned to avoid paying its debts, and a new company is created to continue its business without the debt.
You will need a DIN if you're a director of a company or of a registered Australian body, ASIC-registered foreign company or ATSI corporation. Company secretaries do not need a DIN.
The DIN application timelines have been staggered to give directors time to adjust to the new requirements:
For CATSI directors appointed on or before 31 October 2022, you must apply by 30 November 2023. Those appointed from 1 November 2022 must apply before their appointment.
The quickest way to register will be online with the ABRS using myGovID. You can prepare early by setting up your myGovID (which is an app that lets you prove who you are and log in to a range of online government services, including myGov). You’ll then need to have supporting documentation to assist the Australian Taxation Office in verifying your identity.
You’ll also be able to apply by phone or using paper forms. It is free to apply, but you must apply directly – no one can apply on your behalf.
Once registered, you’ll be able to share your DIN with your company secretary or agent and use it to update your details and monitor actions in progress and past activities. At this stage, DINS will not be publicly searchable.
ASIC will not manage the application or administrations of DINs – this responsibility will sit with ABRS. ASIC will, however, be responsible for the enforcement in the event of non-compliance.
Author: Georgia Milne
The information in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, we do not guarantee that the information in this article is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future.