In brief 3 min read
The Director Identification Number (DIN) initiative under part 9.1A of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) has commenced operation through the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS). Unless exempt, directors need to apply for a DIN within the required timeframe to avoid penalty.
The DIN initiative aims to prevent the use of false or fraudulent director identities, improve data integrity, assist in detecting and eliminating director involvement in unlawful activity and enable tracing of histories and relationships with companies over time.
A DIN is a unique identifier given to existing and future directors who have verified their identity with the ABRS. A director applies for one DIN at no cost, which remains the same even if the director changes companies, ceases to be a director, changes their name or moves interstate or overseas.
Unless exempt, all directors and alternate directors acting in that capacity are required to obtain a DIN, including those of:
- a company or a body corporate that is a registered Australian body or registered foreign company under the Corporations Act; or
- an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cth) (CATSI Act).
DIN applications must be submitted by a specified date depending on the date of appointment. Directors under the Corporations Act who are appointed:
- on or before 31 October 2021, must apply by 30 November 2022;
- between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022, must apply within 28 days of appointment; and
- from 5 April 2022, must apply before appointment.
Directors under the CATSI Act who are appointed:
- on or before 31 October 2022, must apply by 30 November 2023; and
- from 1 November 2022, must apply before appointment.
Civil penalties up to $1.1 million, criminal penalties up to $26,640.00 or one year imprisonment (or both) and infringement notices apply to certain offences relating to the DIN initiative, for example if a director fails to obtain a DIN or misrepresents or provides a false DIN to a government or registered body. Persons involved in a breach may also commit an offence.