Mandatory Director Identification Number Regime Commences
Modernising Business Registers
Details of the Regime
As part of the 2020 Budget Digital Business Plan, the government announced the full implementation of the Modernising Business Registers (MBR) program. The MBR program will establish the new Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) and streamline how you register, view and maintain your business information with government.
Existing company directors will now be required to apply for a director identification number (director ID) by 30 November 2022, while directors of Indigenous corporations that are 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.
When you must apply for a director ID, depends on the date you became a director. You will need to apply for your director ID yourself to verify your identity. No one can apply for it on your behalf.
The introduction of director ID will create a fairer business environment by helping prevent the use of false and fraudulent director identities. This will go a long way to better identifying and eliminating director involvement in unlawful activity.
While existing directors will have a year to apply for their director ID, new directors appointed between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022 will have just 28 days after appointment to apply for their director ID. New directors who are appointed from 5 April 2022 will be required to apply for their director ID before appointment.
Under the law, directors who fail to apply for a director ID within the stipulated time frame can face criminal or civil penalties of 5,000 penalty units, which currently stands at $1.11 million. Directors of a CATSI organisation can face penalties of up to $200,000.
Who Needs a DIN?
A DIN will be required if you are a director or alternate director of:
- Corporations Act entities – meaning companies, registered foreign companies, or companies that are responsible for managed investment schemes; and
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act).
The date you will need to apply for your DIN depends on when you become a director as well as the type of corporate entity.
How to apply for your DIN
Directors will apply for a DIN through the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) website (abrs.gov.au). The simplest way to apply is online using your myGovID. Further information on setting up a myGovID can be found at mygovid.gov.au. If you can’t get a myGovID, then from 1 November 2021 you will be able to apply either by phone or by using a downloadable application form available on the ABRS website.
Once you obtain your DIN, you will need to provide it to your company or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation record-holder. This could be the company secretary, another director, contact person or an authorised agent of the company.
Initially, DINs will only be disclosed by the ABRS to certain commonwealth, state and territory government bodies, courts and tribunals or someone which the director has given permission to disclose to. It is intended that, eventually, the ABRS’s DIN register will be publicly searchable. The ABRS is managed by the Australian Taxation Office who is responsible for the implementation and administration of the program. However, ASIC will be responsible for the enforcement of offences relating to DINs.
If you have any questions or would like any information on what these changes mean for you, please contact your Indian Ocean Consulting Group advisor.