New laws require all directors to have a 15-digit Director Identification Number (DIN) which will be unique to each director. A director will only need to apply for a DIN once and they will keep their number forever.
The following commentary describes the purpose of a DIN, who needs to have one and what’s the process to obtain it.
- All company directors must obtain a DIN.
- Existing directors as at 31 October 2021 have until 30 November 2022 to obtain their DIN.
- Persons who are appointed as a director for the first time after 1 November 2022 must apply for their DIN within 28 days of their appointment.
- From 5 April 2022 a person must have a DIN before being appointed as a director.
Purposes of the DIN:
- Preventing the use of false or fraudulent director identities.
- Making it easier for external administrators and regulators to trace directors’ relationships with companies over time.
- Identifying and eliminating director involvement in unlawful activities, such as illegal phoenixing activities.
You will need a DIN if you are a director or alternate director of a:
- Company incorporated under the Corporations Act.
- Corporate trustee, for example, of a self-managed superannuation fund or family trust.
- Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander corporation registered under the CATSI Act.
- ACNC-registered charity or not-for-profit entity that is incorporated under the Corporations Act or CATSI Act.
- Registered Australian body, for example, an incorporated association that is registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and trades outside the state or territory in which it is incorporated.
- Foreign company registered with ASIC and carrying on business in Australia.
The process to obtain a DIN:
- Directors need to apply for a DIN through the Australian Business Registry Services (abrs.gov.au). So go to the ABRS website and click on “Director identification number” then follow the prompts to apply. https://www.abrs.gov.au/director-identification-number/apply-director-identification-number
- Importantly, you will need a myGovID to obtain your DIN. The ABRS website (under step 1 above) outlines the process of how to go about obtaining a myGovID. As a side note, to set up the “ServiceWA” app on your phone you also require a myGovID.
- The ABRS website explains what documentation you will need but it includes:
- Your Tax File Number.
- Your residential address as held by the ATO.
- Information from 2 documents to verify your identity such as:
- Bank account details
- ATO notice of assessment
- Super account details
- A dividend statement
- PAYG payment summary
Once obtained, your DIN should be provided to your company or corporation record holder (in the case of a corporate trustee for a family trust or SMSF, this is likely to be your accountant).