Have you applied for a Director Identification Number yet? Hop to it!

by | Mar 29, 2022 | Business Law, Employment Law

The government is phasing in a requirement that all new and existing company directors obtain a unique Director Identification Number (DIN). Failure to comply with the requirement may result in a fine, or civil and criminal penalties, so it is very important that all company directors ensure they do not delay.


All directors of Australian companies will require an individual DIN, regardless of how many companies they are involved with. The DIN will be a unique 15 digit identifier. It will be searchable on the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) to easily show related companies and to enable tracing of directors across failed companies. This will make it easier to identify fraudulent phoenix companies (when a new company is registered with substantially the same form as a deregistered company, usually in order to defeat creditors).

Directors will only ever have one DIN, which they will keep forever regardless of whether they change companies, stop being a director, change names or move interstate or overseas. Applying for more than 1 DIN is an offence.


You need to apply for a DIN if you are a director of a company, registered Australian body, registered foreign company or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation. Each director must apply and verify their identity themselves – no one else can apply on your behalf.

You will not need a DIN if you are a company secretary but not director, if you are running a business as a sole trader or partnership, or you are an officer of an unincorporated association, cooperative or incorporated association established under state or territory legislation (unless the organisation is also a registered Australian body).


When you need to apply will depend on when you became a director.

Prior to 31 October 2021 By 30 November 2022
Between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022 Within 28 days of your appointment as director
After 5 April 2022 Before your appointment as a director
  • Please note, the timeframe is different for directors appointed under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act).

Failure to apply for a DIN within the prescribed timeframe may result in a fine, or civil or criminal penalties being imposed.

Penalties will also apply for intentionally applying for more than 1 DIN or providing a false DIN (including for non-directors actively involved in those actions).


Online – You will need to obtain a myGovID and then apply for a DIN on the Australian Business Registry Services website. The application is free. Directors will need to verify their identity with prescribed documents. Have your Tax File Number, residential address and identification documents ready at the time of applying to streamline the process.

You can also apply by phone or by paper application.

The ARBS can provide assistance with lodging your application. See their website or call on 13 62 50.


Directors, do not delay in obtaining your Director Identification Number in order to avoid a fine or worse. 

Disclaimer: Cheney Suthers Lawyers website does not provide legal advice. All information is of general nature only and is not intended to be relied upon as, nor to be a substitute for, specific legal professional advice. Cheney Suthers Lawyers accepts no responsibility for the loss or damage caused to any person action on or refraining from actions as a result of any information contained on this website. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation. All material on this Website is subject to Copyright.

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