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Company directors need to be aware of the introduction of new laws coming into effect on 1 November 2021. The new amendments to the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cth) (CATSI Act) now require all existing and future directors to apply for a Director Identification Number (DIN). A DIN is a unique number used to prevent the use of fraudulent director identities, eliminate illegal phoenix activity and trace director’s relationships with companies over time.

An eligible officer includes directors and alternative directors who are acting in that capacity. You will need to obtain a DIN if you are a director of a:

  • Company (registered under the Corporations Act 2001), including corporate trustees (e.g. of self-managed super funds);
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation (registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006);
  • charity or not-for-profit organisation that is a company or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation;
  • registered Australian body, for example, an incorporated association that is registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and trades outside the state or territory in which it is incorporated;
  • foreign company registered with ASIC and carrying on business in Australia (regardless of where you live).

 

Please see the below deadlines on when you will need to apply for a DIN:

Corporations Act Directors

Date you become a directorDate you must apply for DIN
On or before 31 October 2021By 30 November 2022
Between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022Within 28 days from the date of your appointment as director
From 5 April 2022Prior to registering a new company or before appointment as a director of an existing company

CATSI Act Directors

Date you become a directorDate you must apply for DIN
On or before 31 October 2021By 30 November 2023
From 1 November 2022Before appointment

 

Consequences

You will be in contradiction of your obligations if you:

  1. Do not apply for a DIN within the specified time frame;
  2. Misrepresent or provide a false DIN to a Commonwealth body, company or registered body; or
  3. Knowingly apply for multiple identification numbers.

If you are in contradiction with your director obligations, you may be issued an infringement notice. Criminal or civil penalties may apply and you could face fines of up to 5,000 penalty units (currently measured at $1.11m). You could also face possible imprisonment of up to 12 months.

You can obtain a DIN through an online application, phone application or paper application. You can access the application through the Australian Business Registry Services website.

To complete the online application, you will need to:

  1. Set up a myGovID account
  2. Have your tax file number and your residential address on hand
  3. Verify your identity with documents such as your bank account details, an ATO notice of assessment, super account details, a dividend statement, a Centrelink payment summary or a PAYG payment summary

Once complete, you can login into your myGovID and apply for a DIN.

Next Steps

Are you sure you have completed your director identification number requirements? Contact our team of expert commercial lawyers on (02) 9964 0499 for a no-obligation consultation.

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The articles on this website comprise legal general information and not legal advice. The general information presented here must not be relied upon without legal advice being sought. In the event that you wish to obtain legal advice on the contents of this general information you may do so by contacting our office or your existing solicitor.