Last year, in our article, “2021: A Directors Identity Odyssey”, we explained the law reforms set out in the 2020 Federal Budget’s Modernising Business Registers Program (MBR Program) which aim to make it harder for directors to reinvent themselves via phoenixing activities.

Included in the MBR Program was the introduction of director identification numbers (DIN): a unique numeric identifier assigned to each individual director in Australia. An individual will keep the one DIN for their life; the DIN will not change even if the individual stops being a director, moves overseas or changes their name.

The Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) is responsible for the registration process while ASIC will be responsible for enforcement.

Does this affect me?

Anyone who is registered as a director with ASIC or the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC) will need to hold a DIN.

The registration requirement applies to directors whether their organisation is a company, a foreign company, a registered Australian body or an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation.

Individuals who do not need a DIN include:

  • company secretaries;
  • sole traders;
  • partners in a partnership;
  • those who refer to themselves as directors in their job title (ie. executive director) but are not a director under the Corporations Act 2001 or the Corporations Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Act 2006 (CATSI Act);
  • directors or responsible people of registered charities that are not registered with ASIC; and
  • officers of unincorporated associations or cooperatives.

When will this affect me?

New directors, that is, any person who becomes a director for the first time from 1 November 2021, will have to apply for a DIN within 28 days.

For existing directors there will be a year transition period until 30 November 2022 to obtain a DIN.

From 5 April 2022 would-be directors will need to apply for a DIN before being appointed as a director.

To be a director under the CATSI Act from 1 November 2022 you must apply for a DIN before your appointment. Current CATSI Act directors must apply by 30 November 2023.

How do I apply?

To apply for a DIN you are required to set up a myGov ID account and to verify your identity.

For those who do not have a myGov ID, applications can be made via phone or in paper form.