How to apply for a Director Identification Number (DIN)

July 2, 2024
minutes to read
Ben Winford
Table of Contents

Applying for a Director identification number (DIN) is crucial if you're planning to become a company director in Australia. You need a Director Identification Number if you're a director of a company, registered Australian body, registered foreign company, or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation.

As of November 1st, 2021, the Australian government mandated a unique identifier for all company directors, both present and future, aimed at bolstering transparency and accountability within the corporate landscape. This unique identifier, known as a Director ID, is a permanent fixture for each individual and is required regardless of the number of directorships held.

Thriday equips you to navigate this critical aspect of directorship and entrepreneurship in Australia with confidence. We provide comprehensive information about DINs, ensuring you grasp their significance, understand your responsibilities, and maintain compliance with the Australian government's mandate for all company directors.

What is Director Identification Number (DIN)

A Director Identification Number (DIN) is your unique identifier in the Australian corporate landscape. Think of it as your professional fingerprint, a permanent and unchanging number assigned to you by the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS).

Your DIN is more than just a number; it's a symbol of your commitment to leadership and accountability as a company director. It's a tool that enhances transparency, streamlines regulatory processes, and helps prevent fraudulent activities. With your DIN, you're not just a director; you're a recognized and responsible leader in the Australian business community.

Who needs to apply for a DIN?

A Director identification number (DIN) is required for individuals who are:

Eligible officers: This includes directors and alternate directors (when acting in that capacity) of:

  • Companies registered under the Corporations Act 2001
  • Registered Australian bodies
  • Registered foreign companies
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations registered under the CATSI Act 2006

Key requirements

  • Corporations act:
    • Must be an individual at least 18 years old
    • Must not be disqualified from managing corporations (unless with ASIC or Court permission)
  • CATSI act:
    • Must be an individual at least 18 years old
    • Must be a member of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation and an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person (unless the corporation's governing documents state otherwise)
    • Must not be disqualified from managing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation (unless with permission from the Registrar or the Court)

Important notes

  • You only need one DIN, even if you are a director of multiple entities.
  • You must apply for your own DIN; no one can apply on your behalf.

When to apply for a DIN

  • Corporations act directors:
    • Future directors: Apply before you are appointed.
    • Current directors (without a DIN): Apply as soon as possible.
  • CATSI act directors:
    • Transitional arrangements are available.
    • The application deadline depends on when you became a director:
      • On or before October 31, 2022: Apply by November 30, 2023
      • From November 1, 2022: Apply before your appointment
Ready to get your Director ID? Thriday's 4-step DIN application guide makes it easy!

Eligibility and documents required

Directors can apply for their Director ID through three methods:

  1. Online through myGovID
    • Requires a myGovID account and an Australian Tax File Number (TFN).
    • Identity verification involves providing your TFN, ATO-matched residential address, and information from two of the following documents:
      • Bank statement
      • ATO notice of assessment
      • Superannuation account statement
      • Centrelink payment summary
      • PAYG payment summary
  2. Telephone application
    • Requires your TFN and ATO-held residential address.
    • Identity verification involves answering two ATO-related questions and providing details from:
      • One primary document:
        • Australian full birth certificate
        • Australian passport (current or expired less than two years)
        • Australian citizenship certificate
        • ImmiCard
        • Visa (if using a foreign passport but remaining in Australia)
      • One secondary document:
        • Medicare card
        • Australian driver's licence or learner's permit
  3. Paper application
    • Requires downloading and completing a paper application form.
    • Identity verification involves providing certified copies of the following:
      • Within Australia:
        • One primary document:
          • Australian passport (current or expired less than two years)
          • Australian full birth certificate
          • Australian citizenship certificate
          • Foreign passport (current)
        • Two secondary documents:
          • Australian driver's licence or learner's permit
          • Medicare card
      • Outside Australia:
        • One primary document:
          • Australian passport (current or expired less than two years)
          • Foreign passport (current)
          • Australian or foreign birth certificate
        • One secondary document:
          • National photo identification card
          • Foreign government identification
          • Driver's licence (address must match the application)
          • Marriage certificate & change of name documents

Additional notes:

  • Original documents should not be submitted with paper applications.
  • Certified copies for paper applications (within Australia) must be certified by specific professionals (e.g., legal practitioners, doctors, JP).
  • Refer to ABRS guidelines for notarisation, certification, and translation requirements for documents issued outside Australia.

This information is a general guide. Please refer to the official ABRS website for the most up-to-date and comprehensive instructions on applying for a Director ID.

After receiving your DIN

Once you have received your Director identification number, it’s essential to manage your information diligently. You are responsible for updating your details, complying with legal obligations, and understanding the penalties for non-compliance.

How to updating your details

Updating your details with the Australian Business Registry Services is straightforward. If your personal information, such as your address, changes, you should log into the ABRS online portal using your myGovID to update your director ID details. Keeping your details current ensures that company records are accurate and compliant.

You can manage your DIN and view or update your information online at any time. Remember, an accurate record helps maintain the integrity of company records and aids in preventing fraud.

Legal obligations and compliance

As a director, you have several legal responsibilities. You must ensure that your company adheres to regulations, including proper record-keeping. All directors of a company registered as an Australian body, or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation must possess a DIN. Your DIN must be used for all company-related activities and documentation.

Complying with these regulations is critical for maintaining good standing with Australian regulatory bodies, including the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Penalties for non-compliance

Failure to comply with DIN regulations can result in serious penalties. Non-compliance may include acts such as not applying for a DIN when required, providing false information, or failing to update your details. These actions are considered criminal offences and can lead to significant fines.

Thriday equips you to navigate this critical aspect of directorship and entrepreneurship in Australia with confidence.

For any breaches, the penalties can be severe. To avoid these penalties, always ensure your DIN is accurate and up-to-date. This will help you stay compliant and avoid any legal issues related to your directorship duties.

Frequently asked questions

Applying for a Director Identification Number is essential for company directors in Australia. Below are key questions and answers to help you understand the process and requirements.

What are the steps to apply for a Director Identification Number online in Australia?

First, you need to set up your myGovID, which should have at least a Standard identity strength. Then, gather your identification documents. Use your myGovID to log onto the ABRS online portal and complete the application process.

Can directors register for a Director ID without using myGovID?

Yes, directors who cannot get myGovID or live outside Australia can still apply for a Director ID. Detailed instructions on the ABRS website on how to proceed without a myGovID are provided.

What is the process for obtaining a Director Identification Number using the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) portal?

After setting up your myGovID and gathering the necessary documents, you can log into the ABRS portal. Follow the guided steps to enter your personal details and submit your application.

How long does the application process take to acquire a Director ID?

The online application process using the ABRS portal is typically quick. If all your documents are in order and your myGovID is set up, it can be completed within a few minutes. Delays are possible if additional verification is required.

Is there a fee associated with the registration of the Director Identification Number?

There is no fee for applying for a Director Identification Number in Australia. The process is free for all company directors to ensure compliance with the new regulations.

Are all company directors required to obtain a Director Identification Number?

Yes, all company directors in Australia, including directors of registered Australian bodies, registered foreign companies, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations, are required by law to obtain a Director Identification Number through ABRS.

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