One of the common queries which commercial lawyers often receive from those who have just become, or are about to become, directors of a company, relates to Director Identifier Numbers (DINs). It is not just new directors who raise questions about DINs. Given that it is a relatively new requirement, some who have been company directors for years are also unclear on what DINs are and how they should comply with the applicable legislation, so what follows should help.

What Is A Director Identifier Number (DIN)?

A Director Identifier Number is a 15 digit number that enables individuals to be identified on public registers where legislation states that a director of a company must be identified. The difference that a DIN makes is that instead of a company director’s personal details such as their name, address and date of birth being published, their DIN is published instead.

When Were DINs Introduced?

All company directors were required to confirm and verify their identity with Australian Business Register Services (ABRS) starting from 21st November 2021. Once their details are verified, each company director will be issued with their Director Identifier Number which is unique to them. Below are further details of relative dates concerning when you must apply and the differences depending on which company legislation is relevant.

Directors appointed under the Corporations  Act before or on October 31st, 2021, should apply and be issued with their DIN by November 30th, 2022. If appointed between 1st November 2021 and  April 4th, 2022, a company director must have complied within 28 days of their appointment. Any company director who will be appointed from April 5th, 2022, must have compiled before their appointment.

For directors who are covered by the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torre Strait Islander) Act of 2006 (CATSI), the dates differ slightly. In this case, any existing company directors or those appointed up to and until October 31st, 2022, have a cut-off date for compliance of November 30th, 2023. Anyone who is going to be appointed as a company director from November 1st, 2022, must obtain their DIN prior to their appointment.

What Is The Application Process For DIN

Each company director must make the application for a DIN themselves. They cannot employ or pay a third party to make the application on their behalf. That includes legal professionals meaning your commercial lawyer cannot apply on your behalf albeit they can advise you to ensure you are applying correctly. Once issued, DINs will normally be kept by each company director forever.

DIN applications can be made on the ABRS website (, however, to make this online application you must first have a myGovID which is obtained at the Australian Government’s myGovID website. (

What Are DINs Used For?

DINs have several uses. The first is to identify company directors but without the need for their personal details to be made public. Second, DINs can be used to identify what an individual’s relationship is to one or more companies. Third, DINs can be used by regulators to identify and follow illegal activities such as phoenixing and the use of false identities, especially when a company goes out of business.

What Are The Penalties For Non-Compliance With DIN Requirements

If a company director does not comply with DIN regulations, they can be fined, with the current limit being just over $13,000 Australian. They could also receive a custodial sentence of up to 12 months imprisonment.