We alerted you to recently passed legislation requiring all directors to have a director identification number (DIN). The DIN is a unique number that relates to the director (not the entity). Here’s how to apply for a Director ID.

Company directors are being urged by the Australian Tax Office (ATO) to apply for Director ID before November 30, 2022.

Why do you need one?

The Director ID program is designed to improve transparency, with the Australian Business Registry Services stating that “shareholders, employees, creditors, consumers, external administrators and regulators are entitled to know the names and certain details of the directors of a company”.

What is a Director ID?

The Director ID is a 15-digit director identification number that is unique to each individual director who has verified their identity with the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS).

If the director changes companies or stops being a director, the unique identifier will remain with them forever.

Who needs to apply?

If you are the director of a company, charity or not-for-profit organisation, a registered Australian body or registered foreign company under the Corporations Act 2001 or even an alternate director acting in a director’s capacity, you must apply for a new ID.

This also applies to directors of any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006.

All directors are required to apply for their own ID, however if you operate your business as a sole trader or partnership, you do not have to apply.

Unless directed otherwise by the registrar, if you are a director of more than one company, you only need to apply for one Director ID.

When do you need to apply?

The date you need to apply for a new Director ID depends on when you were appointed as a director. From November 1, 2022, directors must have their new ID before their appointment.

Those appointed as a director on or before October 31, 2021, must apply by November 30, 2022.

For any appointments made after April 5, 2022, directors must apply for the new Director ID before they are officially appointed.

Current directors of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations have an additional 12 months to apply for the new ID. Those appointed on or before October 31, 2022, must apply by November 30, 2023.

Criminal and Civil Penalties if you fail to apply

Company directors also face significant criminal and civil penalties if they fail to obtain a director ID, or fail to apply for one when directed to do so by the registrar. The maximum criminal penalty in these cases is $13,200 and the maximum civil penalty is $1.1 million.

Directors also face criminal penalties of up to $26,640 or one year imprisonment, and civil penalties of up to $1.1 million, if they apply for multiple Director IDs or misrepresent their Director ID.

How to apply

The fastest way to apply for a Director ID by using the myGovID app to log in to ABRS online and verify your identity with information the ABRS has on record. You can check if your business is registered as a company with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission at ASIC Connect. Details of how to apply can be found here on the ABRS website.

If you can’t apply by the date you need to, you can complete an Application for an extension of time to apply for a director ID (NAT 75390, PDF 271KB).

Once you have received your DIN please forward this to our team to insert into our Corporate Secretarial software.

If you have any questions, please contact the team at MGI on