Do I need a Director Identification Number? – yes, you do

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The Australian Government has introduced a new regime for Directors of Australian companies.

The legislative package introduced two things which will change how Australian companies operate:

  1. A new National Business Registry regime which will ensure the centralisation and modernisation of business registers; and
  2. The introduction of a new Director Identification Number (DIN) which requires a director to register after proving their identity and they will receive a unique identifier

The DIN will be a unique identifier which will help prevent the use of false or fraudulent director identities which has been a problem in the past from both a regulatory and legal perspective.

It will be a criminal offence if you do not apply when required to do so and on time.

Who needs to apply for a Director Identification Number? 

If you are or planning to become a director of the following:

  • A company
  • A corporate trustee
  • An Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation
  • A charity or not-for-profit organisation that is a company or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation
  • An Australian body registered with Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
  • A foreign company registered with ASIC and carrying on business in Australia
  • If you are acting in the capacity of an alternate director.

The following entities are not required to have a DIN:

  • Sole traders or partnerships
  • Company secretaries who are not directors
  • An external administrator
  • Directors of registered charities not registered with ASIC
  • If you are referred to as a ‘director’ in your role/job title but are not an director appointed under the Corporations Act 2001 or the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006
  • An Officer of an unincorporated association, cooperative or incorporated association established under state or territory legislation – unless the organisation is also a registered Australian body

How do I apply for a DIN?

You will only be required to apply for the DIN once.

The new Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) will be responsible for administering the DIN.

ASIC will be responsible for enforcing director ID offences set out in the Corporations Act 2001. 

ASIC will be able police for new director ID offences pursuant to the Corporations Act 2001:

  1. Failing to have a DIN when required to do so
  2. Failing to apply for a DIN when directed by the Registrar
  3. Applying for multiple DINs
  4. Misrepresenting a DIN

To apply you will have to use the myGovID app then to log onto the ABRS website.

When do I have to apply for a DIN?

When you have to apply by will depend on when you were appointed a director:

  • If you are already a director have until 30 November 2022.
  • If you were appointed a director between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022 you must apply within 28 days of your appointment.
  • From 5 April 2022, if you intend to become a director you must apply before being appointed.

The new Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) is responsible for administering the director ID initiative. 

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

How can FC Lawyers help?

Our Business and Corporate team has extensive experience assisting directors in public and private companies along with charities and not-for-profits.

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us.

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