Directors need to apply for their Director Identification Numbers
The Federal Government has recently introduced a new requirement for every existing and future company director to apply for their own personal Director Identification Number (DIN). Failure to apply may result in significant civil and/or criminal penalties. The DINs have been introduced to help prevent fraud, trace directors across different companies and curb illegal activities such as phoenixing (which occurs when a director seeks to avoid paying company debts by winding it up and transferring its assets to a new company).
You will need a DIN if you are, or are planning to become, a director (or an alternate director) of a company, a registered Australian body (for example, an incorporated association registered with the ASIC and trading outside its state or territory of incorporation) or a registered foreign company under the Corporations Act 2001 or an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander corporation.
When a director needs to apply for their DIN depends on the date they become a director. For all directors under the Corporations Act 2011 (Cth), the relevant dates are:
You can apply for your DIN through the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) website for free. You will need a myGovID account. Please note that myGovID is different than myGov, which is commonly used to access services such as the ATO, Medicare or Centrelink. You can set up your myGovID by simply downloading its smart phone app.
While applying for the DIN, you will need to provide your Tax File Number (TFN), your residential address as held by the ATO and information from two documents to verify your identity. Once the DIN is obtained, you must provide it to your company. If your personal information changes subsequently, you can update the details at the ABRS website and then notify the company within 7 days.
Each director has their unique DIN which remains the same even if they change names or companies, move interstate or overseas or stop being a director.
At MCW Lawyers, we have an experienced team of lawyers who routinely advise on a variety of corporate matters including setting up companies and corporate governance. Should you have any questions, please contact us and we will be pleased to assist.