From November 2021, all directors of existing companies must apply for a unique Director Identification Number (DIN). Directors will have until 30 November 2022 to apply for a DIN. Directors of corporations governed by the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act) will be required to apply for the unique identifier by 30 November 2023.
All persons who are become a director for the first time after 5 April 2022 must have a DIN before becoming a director.
The free process to apply for a DIN is online, and the uses your myGovID as well as some identifying documents including:
an ATO notice of assessment
super account details
a dividend statement
a Centrelink payment summary
PAYG payment summary.
You only ever need to apply once. You need to notify each company you are a director of and give them your DIN. Your DIN will be submitted each time you become a director of a company.
There are penalties for failing to apply for a DIN which range from fines to criminal action.
This is a significant change to the corporate landscape and is intended to combat illegal phoenix activity. ASIC describes an illegal phoenix activity as:
[an] activity [that] occurs when a new company, for little or no value, continues the business of an existing company that has been liquidated or otherwise abandoned to avoid paying outstanding debts, which can include taxes, creditors and employee entitlements. https://asic.gov.au/for-business/small-business/closing-a-small-business/illegal-phoenix-activity/
For more information or to apply for a DIN (from November 2021), please go to https://www.abrs.gov.au/director-identification-number or contact us for assistance.