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The new guidelines for Australian company directors

From November 2021, directors of Australian companies will need to verify their identity utilising the new director ID number (DIN). A DIN is a unique identifier that all directors of Australian companies will be required to obtain and keep forever, regardless of whether they become a director of further companies, change their name, move overseas or cease to be a director.

Directors of Australian companies will be able to use the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) website to apply for a DIN. Directors must apply for a DIN themselves and, given that they will need to verify their own identity, cannot have someone else apply on their behalf. Failure to apply for a DIN within the required timeframes will potentially attract significant civil and/or criminal penalties.

Who must apply?

Directors and alternate directors of:

  • Australian companies and registered foreign companies; and
  • Certain charities and not-for-profit entities which are ‘registered bodies’ – for instance incorporated associations with an ARBN or companies limited by guarantee.
What’s the deadline?

Date of appointment

Deadline for DIN registration

On, or prior to, 31 October 2021 By 30 November 2022
From 1 November 2021 until 4 April 2022 Within 28 days of appointment
From 5 April 2022 Prior to appointment

How to apply?

In order to apply for a DIN, you will need to log in to the ABRS and have the following available:

  • A standard or strong identity strength myGovID; 
  • Your tax file number;
  • Your residential address as held by the ATO; and 
  • Information from two documents to verify your identity (for example, bank account details, an ATO notice of assessment, superannuation account details, a dividend statement, a Centrelink payment summary or a PAYG payment summary).

For directors who are unable to get a myGovID, phone and paper-based applications will be available.

Directors residing outside of Australia will need to provide certified copies of identity documents to support their application for a DIN. Companies with foreign-resident directors should be aware of this in order to ensure that such practicalities don’t result in missed deadlines.

Whilst we can’t apply on your behalf, please get in touch with the Partners Legal team if you need any guidance or assistance with the DIN registration process or have any other queries relating to corporate law or director issues.

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