What is a Director Identification Number?

A Director Identification Number (DIN) is a 15-digit number that will be used to identify an individual director. Just like your tax file number, a director will have the same DIN for their lifetime.

What is the purpose of the DIN regime?

The government introduced the DIN regime to reduce phoenix activities, which are responsible for losses of approximately $3-5 billion per annum.

Phoenix activity is activity in which company directors transfer the assets of an existing company to a new company, thereby avoiding payment of debts or litigation. It also aims to stamp out the creation of ‘fictitious directors’ who conceal their identity (and their previous indiscretions!) by adopting differing personal details across company records.

By implementing the use of DINs, regulators will be provided with a snapshot of a director’s corporate history, including a summary of any company with which a director has been involved.

Do I need a DIN?

You must apply for a DIN if you are an eligible officer (including a director or company secretary) of:

  • a company, a registered Australian body or a registered foreign company under the Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act); or
  • an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act).

The DIN regime is mandatory for all officers described above. Importantly, the regime does not include board members of incorporated associations, as they are governed by state legislation.

The regime does not require any evidence of how much a company holds or the extent of its activities. It will apply to large companies but also basic shelf companies, as well as corporate trustees of any discretionary trusts or self-managed superannuation funds.

When do I need to apply for a DIN?

How do I apply?

Applications will open in November. The easiest way to apply is online by creating a MyGovID.

Further information on how to apply or create a MyGovID can be found here: https://www.abrs.gov.au/director-identification-number/apply-director-identification-number

What happens if I don’t apply when I’m supposed to?

There are both civil and criminal penalties for non-compliance with the DIN regime. If, for example, a person is discovered applying for multiple DINs or providing false information, they could be imprisoned for a period of up to twelve months.

For more information, please contact Andrea Michaels on (08) 7111 2995 or Lisa Christo (08) 7111 2994.