Important Deadline for Director Identification Number
A Director Identification Number (DIN or Director ID) is a unique identifier mandated under the Corporations Act. It must be obtained by all existing or prospective directors or eligible officers. This Director ID obligation extends to individuals involved with various entities such as:
a registered Australian body
registered foreign company
an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation
An "eligible officer" is a person appointed as a director or alternate director who is performing duties in that director role. In addition, you'll need a Director ID if you are the director of your corporate trustee for your Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF) or family trust.
The Director ID is a cornerstone of a new government initiative supported by the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS). This initiative aims to trace directors' relationships, enabling the business registry services to locate false or fraudulent director activity. This includes, but is not limited to, illegal phoenix activity and other forms of unlawful activity. Furthermore, the Director ID will strengthen efforts to identify and rectify director involvement in inappropriate conduct.
To apply for a Director ID, the director must personally go through the application process. Unfortunately, your Accountant or Professional Services Provider can't act as an authorised agent to apply for your Director ID. The director details that are often required include your residential address and other identity documents required to validate your application. You can apply online. If you have any application-related issues, you can receive support by reaching out to your contact person at email@example.com.
How do I know if I need a Director Identification Number?
Obligations to obtain a Director Identification Number (Director ID) are mandated by the Corporations Act for certain roles. Specifically, if you are a director or an eligible officer in a company, a registered Australian body, a registered foreign company, or an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation, you are required to secure a Director ID. You can complete the application process for a Director ID online through the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS).
Importantly, a Director ID serves as a unique identifier that you will keep indefinitely; you will only ever need one. Even if you change companies, assume roles in new corporations, or get appointed as an existing director in additional entities, your initial Director ID will remain the same. Therefore, there is no need to apply for additional Director IDs.
Failing to comply with these identification number Director ID requirements could put you at risk of penalties. These measures are part of efforts to counter illegal phoenix activity and fraudulent director identities, aiming to improve the traceability of directors' relationships with companies.
If you are not currently serving as a company director or eligible officer, the Director ID obligation does not apply to you. Nonetheless, it may still be possible for you to apply for a Director ID if you wish. Those who are uncertain of their director involvement can consult the ASIC Companies Register to clarify their status.
For those unfamiliar with the process, a range of identity documents will need to be provided to confirm your residential address and other director details. An authorised agent or contact person can provide support during the application process if needed.
There are penalties for failure to have a director identification number when it is required, and for applying for multiple director identification numbers as well as for misrepresenting director ID. For a table supplied by AISC of the relevant maximum penalties see the image below:
When do you need to apply by?
Your application timeframe for the Director ID is determined by the date you first took on the role of a director. For directors associated with companies overseen by ASIC and registered under the Corporations Act 2001:
New directors must apply before being appointed.
Those who were appointed as directors on or before 31 October 2021, must apply by 30 November 2022.
Directors who were first appointed between 1 November 2021, and 4 April 2022, had a 28-day window from their appointment date to apply.
Are extensions available?
If you discover that you're unable to apply by the required deadline, you have the option to request an extension. You can download the 'Extension of Time to Apply for a Director ID' form as a PDF from the ABRS website.
How to Apply
The Director ID system will be supervised by the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS), a recently-established sector within the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Opting for online application through ABRS is the most expedient way to acquire your Director ID.
As mentioned earlier, directors are required to submit their own applications to ensure proper identification of their identity. We cannot submit applications on your behalf. For an online application, a director will require:
a standard or strong identity strength MyGov ID. If you are an eligible director and do not already have a MyGov ID, you can set up your MyGov ID on http://www.mygovid.gov.au/set-up
your Tax File Number (TFN)
your residential address as held by the ATO, and
information from two documents to verify your identity
The types of documents which can be used to verify your identity include:
bank account details
an ATO Notice of Assessment
Superannuation account details
a Dividend Statement
a Centrelink Payment Summary, and
a PAYG Payment Summary.
A director can also apply for a Director ID by telephone or by post (for applicants within and outside Australia).
What if I am a director of an Australian company but don't reside in Australia?
If you do not reside in Australia and you do not have a MyGov ID, you will need to set one up before you apply for a Director ID number. You can set up your MyGov ID on the following website: http://www.mygovid.gov.au/set-up.
Director ID Obligations
A Director must:
apply for a Director ID within the relevant time frame, or when directed by the ABRS Registrar to do so;
not apply for more than one Director ID (unless directed by the Registrar to do so);
not misrepresent the Director ID to a Commonwealth body, company, registered Australian body or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation; and
not be involved in a breach of the above obligations.
Directors who do not comply with their obligations may face substantial civil or criminal penalties of 5,000 penalty units, which currently stands at $1.11 million dollars.
Am I required to provide my Director ID to ASIC?
You are not required to provide your Director ID to ASIC currently.
The ABRS Registrar has indicated that the Director ID will not be accessible to the general public. Once you acquire your Director ID, it should be furnished to your company secretary or another designated record-keeper.
The ABRS will only disclose your Director ID to you or to:
someone the director gives permission to disclose
certain Commonwealth, State and Territory government bodies, and
Court and Tribunals.
What to do once you have received your director ID
Once you have applied for and received your director identification number no further action is required on your part.
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Any advice contained in this document is general advice only and does not take into consideration the reader’s personal circumstances. Any reference to the reader’s actual circumstances is coincidental. To avoid making a decision not appropriate to you, the content should not be relied upon or act as a substitute for receiving financial advice suitable to your circumstances.