Corporate & Commercial 22 October 2021

Director Identification Numbers to commence November 2021

From November 2021, eligible officers of a company, including directors and alternate directors, will be required to verify their identity and obtain a unique Director Identification Number (“DIN”).  The DIN is a unique identifier which will stay with a director throughout their life, regardless of which companies they are involved in.  For further information about the DIN, please see our article outlining the DIN, its application and purposes here.

Eligible officers will be able to apply for their DIN via the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) website.

Who needs to apply?

You are required to apply for and hold a DIN if you are an eligible officer of:

  1. a company, a registered Australian body or a registered foreign company under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (“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’).

All ‘eligible officers’ will be required to apply for and hold a DIN.  An eligible officer will be someone who is:

  1. appointed to the position of a director;
  2. appointed to the position of an alternate director and is acting in that capacity; or
  3. any other officer of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation, Australian company or body corporate, or a registered foreign company that is prescribed by the regulations.

What about charities?

If you are a director of a charity organisation, such as a company registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission, you will also be required to apply for and hold a DIN. It is therefore important that directors of charity companies are across the DIN requirements.

However, at the time of writing this article, the DIN is required to be held only by directors and alternate directors and therefore board members of an ACNC are not required to apply for or hold a DIN. It is worth nothing that the legislation allows for the definition of ‘eligible officer’ to be expanded, with additional officers as prescribed by the regulations also included. Eligible officers should therefore keep an eye out for updates in relation to the DIN in case addition officers are included in the definition in the future.

When do I need to apply for a DIN?

The timeframes for eligible officers to apply for a DIN depends on whether they are governed by the Corporations Act or the CATSI Act.  The timeframes for both are outlined in the following table:

  Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cth).
Date of appointment as eligible officer Date of application for DIN Date of application for DIN
On or before 31 October 2021 By 30 November 2022 By 30 November 2023
Between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022 Within 28 days of appointment By 30 November 2023
Between 5 April 2022 and 31 October 2022 Before appointment By 30 November 2023
1 November 2022 onwards Before appointment Before appointment

If an eligible officer is unable to apply for their DIN by the required date they may apply for an extension.  Details for extensions will be available on the ABRS website from November 2021.

What do I need to apply for my DIN?

There are three steps in preparing to apply for your DIN:

1. Set up your myGovID.

In order to apply for your DIN you will need a standard or strong identity strength myGovID (myGovId is an app you download on your smart device and is different from myGov account).

2. Gather the relevant documents

You will required the following information when applying for you DIN:

  • tax file number (TFN)
  • your residential address as held by the ATO; and
  • information from two documents to verify your identity.

Some examples of documents which can be used to verify your identity include:

  • bank account details;
  • an ATO notice of assessment
  • super account details;
  • a dividend statement;
  • a Centrelink payment summary; and
  • PAYG payment summary.

3. Complete you application

Once your standard or strong myGovID is set up and your documents are in order, from November 2021 you can log in on the ABRS website and apply for your DIN.

If you are unable to obtain a myGovID you may apply:

  • by phone from November 2021 provided that you have your TFN and the documents required to verify your identity; or
  • by paper form (available for download on the ABRS website in November 2021) provided you have certified copies of your identity documents to send with your application.

How can Coulter Legal assist?

Whilst we cannot apply for your DIN for you, if you have any questions regarding the DIN or director’s duties please contact us.  Staying on top of your duties as a director is crucial for your business and for your own personal liability.  To ensure you understand your obligations and are complying with those obligations, it is best to consult your legal adviser when considering decisions that may affect the company or if you are taking on a new role as a director.

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