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New Director Identification Number changes are now in effect

By Nicole Radice / 11 November 2021

Partner Nicole Radice sets out the steps directors must take to comply with the Director Identification Number (DIN) requirements and outline the enforcement of DIN offences.

Changes came into effect on 1 November 2021, which require all directors to obtain a DIN. A DIN is a unique identifier for every director, which is allocated once and kept forever (similar to a tax file number), for the purpose of preventing the use of false or fraudulent director identities.

All directors of a company, registered Australian body, registered foreign company or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation will need a DIN – there are no exceptions for directors of small companies, not-for-profit companies or registered charities.

From April 2022, any new appointee to a board made under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) will need to get their DIN before they start their roles, whilst directors that are newly appointed before this date have 28 days to apply even if they are existing directors of other companies. 

When to apply? 

When you must apply depends on when you were appointed as a director:

  • existing directors of a company have until 30 November 2022 to apply; 
  • newly appointed directors appointed between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022 must apply within 28 days of their appointment; and
  • from 5 April 2022, intending directors must apply before being appointed.

We note that different timeframes apply to directors appointed to organisations incorporated under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cth) (CATSI Act).

How to apply? 

The new Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) is responsible for administering the DIN initiative. No one can apply on your behalf. Registration for a DIN is done in three steps: 

Step 1 - Set up myGovID

You will need to set up myGovID, which is an app (different to your myGov account). Once downloaded to your smart device, myGovID allows you prove your identity and log in to a range of government online services, including myGov.

If you live outside Australia and can’t get a myGovID with a standard or strong identity strength, you will need to apply with a paper form and provide certified copies of your identity documents. You can access the paper form here; Application for a director identification number (PDF,  305 KB).

Step 2 - Gather your documents

You will need to have some information the Australian Tax Office (ATO) holds about you when you apply for your director ID:

  • your tax file number (TFN); 
  • your residential address as held by the ATO; and
  • information from two documents to verify your identity.

Examples of the documents you can use to verify your identity include:

  • bank account details; 
  • an ATO notice of assessment; 
  • super account details; 
  • a dividend statement; 
  • a Centrelink payment summary; or 
  • PAYG payment summary.

For persons living overseas, you must apply by paper application and provide certified copies of identity documents such as foreign birth certificate, foreign passport and foreign drivers’ licence.

Step 3 - Complete your application

Once you have a myGovID, and information to verify your identity, you can log in and apply for your DIN. The application process should take less than five minutes.

Enforcement of DIN offences

ASIC is responsible for enforcing DIN offences set out in the Corporations Act 2001. It is a criminal offence if you do not apply on time.

We encourage all clients to promptly obtain a DIN so that any new appointments as director or changes to current officeholdings can be made efficiently in future, and to be certain to avoid any penalties under the Corporations Act 2001 .

Should have any queries, please get in touch with our Corporate governance and advisory team. 

Authors
Nicole Radice
Partner
Nicole is a Partner in our Corporate practice with a focus on corporate structuring, due diligence and corporate governance, capital raisings, mergers and acquisitions and takeover defences.

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