Director Identification Number

If you are a Director of a Company….. YOU NEED TO READ THIS

What is a Director ID

New Requirement – As of the 30th of November, all Directors will need to register for a Unique Director ID.

A director ID is a unique identifier that directors need to apply for only once and keep forever. It will help to prevent the use of false or fraudulent director identities.

Director identification number (director ID) applications are now available. Click here to apply.

All Directors must apply for their own director ID to verify their identity. No one can apply on their behalf.

When do you need to Apply – see table below.

Once Registered, your DINs will be recorded both with the new Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) and ASIC. The ABRS will maintain the DIN register and ASIC will require directors to identify themselves by their number.

What if I’m appointed without getting a DIN?

From 5 April 2022, you must have, or apply for, your DIN before appointment.

If you are appointed without first applying for a DIN, or for appointment on or before 4 April 2022 you do not apply for a DIN within the required period, you will commit a punishable offence. This offence is of the type called ‘strict liability’. In a strict liability offence, all that counts is that it happened (if it did); your intentions, errors or special circumstances are not taken into account.

Given that director appointments have a specific date that is visible in minutes or other documents, and ASIC records that date, being appointed as a director before applying for a DIN will be easily identified, and will almost certainly lead to an automatic fine.

The only excuse permitted is that you were not aware of your appointment. That will be hard to prove and is unlikely to be a way out. Although the regulator can relieve liability, it is likely that relief will be rarely, if ever, given.

Note: If you intend to become a director within 12 months, you may apply for a DIN up to 12 months before your appointment.

Why are Director Id’s being introduced?

In response to concerns about illegal phoenixing, a new Director Identification Number (DIN) — also known as director ID — regime is being introduced to deter and penalise phoenix activity.

Currently, although directors are required to provide their details to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), ASIC has not been required to verify the identity of directors.
This has made it difficult to trace a director’s relationships across companies, track directors of failed companies and prevent the use of fictitious identities. These reforms will assist regulators and external administrators to investigate a director’s involvement in what may be repeated unlawful activity including illegal phoenix activity.

How do you identify yourself?

To apply online, you will need a myGovID, which can be obtained here.
Other documents or data you will or may need to apply for your DIN depend on whether you are applying online, by telephone or by paper. This includes:

  • your tax file number (TFN)
  • home address as recorded by the Australian Taxation Office
  • your Australian passport
  • your visa if you are not an Australian citizen (some visas are recorded only electronically and are not issued as such)
  • Australian driver’s licence or learner’s permit
  • Medicare card.

What if you are not an Australian citizen and/or you are outside Australia?

You can be a director of an Australian or foreign company without being either an Australian citizen or resident in Australia.
However, the materials presently available require that, for an online DIN application, you must have an Australian ID. This is because an online application is linked to your ID documents that are already recorded with the government, such as your driver’s licence, Medicare card, etc. It therefore seems likely that online lodgment will not be possible for those without an Australian ID.

When will you be taken to have lodged?

You will be taken to have lodged when your application for a DIN has been accepted as lodged.
That means you will need to have your ID documents ready to hand, as an incomplete step will mean the application will not be accepted. Lodgment delays may delay your appointment as a director or result in a fine.
It will be advisable to keep evidence of the day and time of your DIN application. Especially where your director appointment is on the same day as your DIN application, it will be advisable that the resolution or other minute of your appointment notes the time, not merely the date, of your appointment.

Do I need a new DIN when I take up a new director appointment?

Once you have a DIN, you must use that DIN for all your director appointments. Applying for a new DIN when you already have one is an offence. Accordingly, you will have only one DIN, unless the regulator requires you to cease using the one you have.

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