What is a ‘DIN’? New obligations for Australian Directors – Effective 1 November 2021

The Director Identification Number (DIN) regime commences today. This is a mandatory requirement that applies to all Australian company directors.

What does this mean?

Under Part 9.1A of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Corporations Act), any person who is, or will be, a director of:

  1. a company, a registered Australian body or a registered foreign company registered under the Corporations Act; or
  2. an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cth) (CATSI Act)
    is required to have a DIN.

The DIN is a unique number that is issued to that director and will assist other parties (namely regulatory authorities) to identify individuals appointed as a director of multiple companies. The primary objective behind the DIN regime is to combat illegal phoenix activity.

Transition Period

The DIN regime is being implemented over a staged transition period, which commences today. Relevant dates for compliance by existing directors are:

  • 30 November 2022 (for directors of organisations registered under the Corporations Act): and
  • 30 November 2023 (for directors of organisations registered under the CATSI Act).

Persons currently appointed as directors can apply for a DIN and must obtain a DIN by 30 November 2022.
Persons who are appointed from today as a director of a company are required to apply for a DIN within 28 days of that appointment.

Relevantly, from 5 April 2022, all persons who:

  1. are to be appointed as a director of a company; and
  2. do not have a DIN,

must apply for a DIN before they are appointed as a director of the relevant company.

This requirement applies even where that person is a director of another company (and, by virtue of that other directorship, would have had until 30 November 2022 to obtain a DIN).

Set out below is a table of the relevant dates by which directors and prospective directors must apply for a DIN.

Date of appointment as a directorDate by which an application for a DIN must be made
Directors of organisations registered under the Corporations ActOn or before 31 October 2021By 30 November 2022
Between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022Within 28 days of appointment
From 5 April 2022Before appointment
Directors of organisations registered under the CATSI ActOn or before 31 October 2022By 30 November 2023
From 1 November 2022Before appointment

Applying for a DIN

Directors who hold Australian identification documents or an Australian tax file number can lodge an application for a DIN:

  1. using their myGovID login;
  2. by telephone (with the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS)); or
  3. by paper application form submitted to the ABRS.
    The obligation to obtain a DIN also applies to overseas based directors. They need to submit a paper application form together with certified copies of identification documents. Any identification documents will need to be translated into English.

If you would like further information relating to the DIN requirements, please contact Jamie Nettleton or Jessenia Prado-Banton.

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