There's been a lot of talk on the biz grapevine about Director Identification Numbers of late. It’s been a hot topic of sorts (not as hot as the latest reality tv goss, but still hot) since it came into effect in November of 2021, though many company directors still aren’t clear on what they are or whether they actually need one. So we felt it was important to help you better understand what, exactly, DINs are, and why they’re a legal necessity for company directors.
Why you need a DIN
Director Identification Numbers (or DINs) are unique, 15-digit identification numbers that all directors of a company must hold. This number remains theirs forever, regardless of name changes or even company changes. This number becomes a part of them and is their verified “director identity”, kind of like a driver’s licence for business tracking purposes.
Not only does this number help protect a director’s privacy on public registers, as addresses and birthdates aren’t shared, it also allows their corporate history and connection to other companies to be made available for professional and legal reviewing. DINs make it easier to track any fraudulent or illegal company activity, and businesses are able to be better protected in the long run. As of November 2021, it’s also a legal necessity.
When you need it by
In some cases, the answer may be ‘yesterday’! As per the ASIC website, when you need to apply depends on when you were appointed as director:
- Existing directors have until 30 November 2022 to apply.
- New directors appointed between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022 must apply within 28 days of their appointment.
- From 5 April 2022, intending directors must apply before being appointed.
Who, exactly, needs it
The Australian Business Registry Services page shares that you need a DIN if you’re an eligible officer (an appointed director or alternate director acting in the director’s capacity) of:
- a company, a registered Australian body or a registered foreign company under the Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act)
- an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act).
In order to submit your application, you can head on over to the Australian Business Registry Services page and follow the steps.
To make the process a little more streamlined, have these documents handy:
- Residential address you have registered with the ATO
- Tax file number
- Bank account details
- Super details
- Dividend statement
- Notice of Assessment
- Any Centrelink or PAYG payment summaries issued in the last two years
For more information on DINs, including penalties for not having one when you should, jump oo over to ASIC.
Any questions or concerns, you know we’re here for you.
Riz McDonald is a lawyer of over 16 years and a passionate cheerleader for women in business. She’s also a mum of two and a lover of good wine.
This article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or other professional advice.
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