Article

Directors, Identify Yourselves!

WRITTEN BY Katie Innes

From 1 November 2021, all Australian company directors who are eligible officers in a company, registered Australian body, or registered foreign company under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Corporations Act) or the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cth) (CATSI Act), are required to verify their identity with Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) and apply personally for a Director Identification Number.

A Director Identification Number or “DIN” is a set of 15-digits unique to the individual and is allocated for life regardless of whether the individual changes companies, changes their name, moves overseas or stops being a director entirely. The implementation of Director Identification Numbers aims to promote ethical corporate responsibility and reduce unlawful actions such as identity fraud and phoenix activity.

There are a few categories of people who do not need to apply for a DIN, these are:

  1. company secretaries (who are not also directors);
  2. those acting as external administrators of a company;
  3. those running a business as a sole trader or partnership;
  4. an officer of an unincorporated association, co-operative or an incorporated association (established under state or territory legislation) – even if that body is a registered charity.

To apply for a DIN, you must submit identity verification documents to myGovID (alternatively if you are unable to access myGovID, you are able to apply via phone or via a paper form which you can obtain from ABRS’s website: abrs.gov.au). Failure to hold or obtain a DIN by the applicable deadline is an offence under both the Corporation Act and the CATSI Act. Strict deadlines apply and Directors should be aware of the following dates:

Date of appointment as a Director under the Corporations ActDeadline to apply
Before 31 October 202130 November 2022
Between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022Within 28 days of appointment
From 5 April 2022Before appointment
Date of appointment as a Director under the Corporations ActDeadline to apply
Before 31 October 202130 November 2022
Between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022Within 28 days of appointment
From 5 April 2022Before appointment

You must not apply for more than one DIN.

Although it is the sole responsibility of the individual director to obtain a Director ID, companies should take proper steps to ensure their directors are prepared and the Business & Commercial team at BAL Lawyers are here to assist.

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