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demystifying DINs: new identification requirements for directors

09 November 2021
terry kokkinos oscar sach-haber
Read Time 3 mins reading time

All directors of Australian businesses will now be required to apply for a Director Identification Number (DIN) under a system designed to improve ASIC’s ability to track directors who may be acting outside the law. The newly introduced regime applies to a wide-spanning number of businesses, so the time is now to get across DIN application requirements to avoid serious penalties for yourself and your business.

Macpherson Kelley has created a handy guide to review your DIN requirements.

As of November 2021, directors of certain Australian entities are now required to apply for a “Director Identification Number”.

what is a DIN?

The DIN is a 15-digit identification number which is unique to each director. Directors will only need to apply for a DIN once. The DIN provided to each director will remain attached to that director for life, even if the director moves from one company to another, changes their name or relocates offshore.

who needs a DIN?

A director who holds that position within:

  • an Australian company;
  • a registered Australian body;
  • a registered foreign entity; or
  • an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation registered under certain laws.

are there exemptions?

Directors of incorporated associations (including organisations registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission) are not required to apply for a DIN, unless the incorporated association has an Australian Registered Body Number, enabling it to operate outside the state or territory of its incorporation. Charities and not-for-profits that are public companies limited by guarantee are required to comply with the regime.

who has to do what and by when?

Different cut-off dates are imposed on directors depending on the date of their appointment.

Date you become a directorDeadline to submit your DIN application
On or before 31 October 2021By 30 November 2022
Between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022Within 28 days of your appointment
From 5 April 2022Before appointment

The requirements for directors of registered Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations are less onerous – with current directors needing to apply for a DIN by 30 November 2023.

what consequences do directors face for not registering?

 There are both civil and criminal penalties (including potential imprisonment) for non-compliance with the regime. Accordingly, directors should seek legal advice if they are unclear as to their obligations.

FAQ

can I get someone else to apply for the DIN on my behalf?

No. As each applicant for a DIN will be required to verify their identity, each director must apply themselves.

how do I apply?

Once applications are open, there are three ways to apply for a DIN:

  1. using your myGovID account and complete the online application; or
  2. applying over the phone, in which case you will need the following:
    a. an individual Australian tax file number (TFN) (optional, but will speed up the application process);
    b. your residential address as held by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO);
    c. answers to two questions based on details known about you; and
    d. two Australian identity documents (one primary and one secondary); or
  1. completing and submitting a paper application with certified copies of the director’s required identification documents.

what is a myGovID?

myGovID is a smart device app which can be used to verify a person’s identity and unlock participating government online services (including myGov).

i am a director residing outside of Australia, what should I do?

Directors residing outside Australia can submit a paper application from November 2021. As set out above, certified copies of the director’s identification documents are required to accompany paper applications.

If you have any questions regarding applying for a DIN and the legal implications of doing so, contact our Commercial team for timely and expert advice.

stay up to date with our news & insights

demystifying DINs: new identification requirements for directors

09 November 2021
terry kokkinos oscar sach-haber

All directors of Australian businesses will now be required to apply for a Director Identification Number (DIN) under a system designed to improve ASIC’s ability to track directors who may be acting outside the law. The newly introduced regime applies to a wide-spanning number of businesses, so the time is now to get across DIN application requirements to avoid serious penalties for yourself and your business.

Macpherson Kelley has created a handy guide to review your DIN requirements.

As of November 2021, directors of certain Australian entities are now required to apply for a “Director Identification Number”.

what is a DIN?

The DIN is a 15-digit identification number which is unique to each director. Directors will only need to apply for a DIN once. The DIN provided to each director will remain attached to that director for life, even if the director moves from one company to another, changes their name or relocates offshore.

who needs a DIN?

A director who holds that position within:

  • an Australian company;
  • a registered Australian body;
  • a registered foreign entity; or
  • an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation registered under certain laws.

are there exemptions?

Directors of incorporated associations (including organisations registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission) are not required to apply for a DIN, unless the incorporated association has an Australian Registered Body Number, enabling it to operate outside the state or territory of its incorporation. Charities and not-for-profits that are public companies limited by guarantee are required to comply with the regime.

who has to do what and by when?

Different cut-off dates are imposed on directors depending on the date of their appointment.

Date you become a directorDeadline to submit your DIN application
On or before 31 October 2021By 30 November 2022
Between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022Within 28 days of your appointment
From 5 April 2022Before appointment

The requirements for directors of registered Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations are less onerous – with current directors needing to apply for a DIN by 30 November 2023.

what consequences do directors face for not registering?

 There are both civil and criminal penalties (including potential imprisonment) for non-compliance with the regime. Accordingly, directors should seek legal advice if they are unclear as to their obligations.

FAQ

can I get someone else to apply for the DIN on my behalf?

No. As each applicant for a DIN will be required to verify their identity, each director must apply themselves.

how do I apply?

Once applications are open, there are three ways to apply for a DIN:

  1. using your myGovID account and complete the online application; or
  2. applying over the phone, in which case you will need the following:
    a. an individual Australian tax file number (TFN) (optional, but will speed up the application process);
    b. your residential address as held by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO);
    c. answers to two questions based on details known about you; and
    d. two Australian identity documents (one primary and one secondary); or
  1. completing and submitting a paper application with certified copies of the director’s required identification documents.

what is a myGovID?

myGovID is a smart device app which can be used to verify a person’s identity and unlock participating government online services (including myGov).

i am a director residing outside of Australia, what should I do?

Directors residing outside Australia can submit a paper application from November 2021. As set out above, certified copies of the director’s identification documents are required to accompany paper applications.

If you have any questions regarding applying for a DIN and the legal implications of doing so, contact our Commercial team for timely and expert advice.