The Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) will begin the rollout of Director Identification Numbers (DIN) from November 2021, after being introduced as a requirement under the Commonwealth Registers Bill 2019 and associated Bills.
What are Director Identification Numbers?
A DIN is a 15-digit identifier issued to a director after they have verified their identity with the ABRS. This DIN can be retained for life once issued, regardless of whether the individual moves between companies, ceases to act, changes their name or moves interstate or overseas. A significant advantage of a DIN is the ability to track the director’s company relationships, making it harder to engage in unlawful behaviour such as phoenixing.
Who is required to obtain a DIN?
Officers of a registered body under the Corporations Act must obtain a DIN prior to being appointed as an officer of a company. This includes registered Australian bodies, ASIC-registered foreign companies or ATSI corporations.
When must you register?
The DIN timelines have been staggered to allow for a transitional period:
existing company directors appointed on or before 31 October must apply by 30 November 2022;
new company directors appointed between 1 November 2021 and April 2022 will need to apply within 28 days of appointment;
new company directors appointed from 5 April 2022 will need to apply before they are appointed
How to prepare for registration?
Registration can be completed online with the ABRS using myGovID. Importantly, you must apply for a DIN directly, and not allow another individual to apply on your behalf. An individual cannot apply for multiple DINs.
What happens once a DIN is registered?
Once registered, a DIN can be shared with the company secretary or agent, and used to update your details and monitor actions in progress and past relationships. Currently, DINs are not publically searchable. The ABRS will be responsible for managing the application and administration of DINs, while ASIC will deal with enforcement in instances of non-compliance. Civil and criminal penalties may be incurred where obligations on company directors are contravened.
Henry William Lawyers is available to assist directors with understanding their corporate obligations including the DIN registration requirements.