Director Identification Numbers (“DIN”) have finally come into effect in Australia from 1 November 2021 much to the delight of Insolvency Practitioners and the business community. This article provides a brief overview of what this new regime is, the timeframes for directors to apply for DIN’s and why a seemingly small additional requirement on directors will have significant positive effect.
What is it?
The DIN is a unique 15 digit identifier given to directors of companies registered under the Corporations Act, 2001 to identify and verify the identity of a director of a company. The DIN is compulsory for all directors, free to apply and is a permanent identifier, even if that director changes companies, their name, address or ceases to be a director. Directors will only need to apply once, with the identifier maintained by the Australian Business Registry Services, a newly created registry compiling both the previous Australian Business Register and various ASIC Registers.
When to Apply?
All directors, whether current or intending to become a director, must apply for a DIN, with the timeframes for application based on the date of becoming a director listed below:
Date of Becoming a Director
Due Date for Application
On or before 31 October 2021
By 30 November 2022
Between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022
Within 28 days of appointment
From 5 April 2022
Extensions for applications may be considered, however it is recommended to apply before these deadlines to avoid potential penalties or infringement notices for not meeting the obligations of a director.
Applications for a DIN cannot be made by another person on a director’s behalf and application is to be made online through a directors existing myGovID login.
Why it’s Important?
With the increasing prevalence of illegal phoenix activity, the use of dummy or fraudulent director identities throughout Australia, the implications of which having significant effects on the economy and confidence in the business community, the implementation of additional requirements on directors in the form of DIN’s is a crucial first step in mitigating unlawful director behaviour.
The DIN aims to reduce the instances of directors hiding their identity through the use of alternative or fraudulent names to facilitate illegal phoenixing or avoid director banning. This new regime will provide Insolvency Practitioners with a clear and complete history of a director’s previous directorships to identify any potential phoenix arrangements or related party transactions.