Commencement of Director Identification Numbers
In our November 2018 Corporate briefing, we wrote about the Australian Government's proposed introduction of Director Identification Numbers (DIN). Legislation has now been passed to require new and existing company directors to apply for a DIN. Directors will be able to begin applying for their unique DIN on the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) website from November 2021.
The purpose of the DIN is to provide a system which tracks the history of a director and their connection across different companies, which could assist in the investigation of a director's involvement in unlawful activity, in particular illegal phoenix activities.
Treasury Laws Amendment (Registries Modernisation and Other Measures) Act 2020
Commencing on 4 April 2021, Schedule 2 of the Treasury Laws Amendment (Registries Modernisation and Other Measures) Act 2020 (Cth) inserted Part 9.1A of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Corporations Act) which governs the DIN requirement. Part 9.1A establishes penalties and criminal charges which could apply to directors for not making a DIN application by the required time, for deliberately providing false information or for intentionally applying for more than one DIN.
On 15 April 2021, the Government also released the Corporations (Director Identification Number) Data Standard 2021 which outlines generally the details of the DIN application process, including what information ABRS may require or request and how this information will be used and stored.
Who will need a DIN?
A DIN will be required for all directors (including alternate directors) of a registered Australian body or registered foreign company under the Corporations Act, or of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cth) (CATSI Act).