If you’re a company director (or want to become one soon) you now need to apply for a unique 15-digit number called a Director ID number (DIN).
All directors are now required by law to apply for a Director ID number by verifying their identity. The idea behind Director IDs is it will help prevent fraudulent activity when establishing new companies, so whilst it is an annoying bit of red tape it is worthwhile in the end to protect your identity.
Here’s some frequently asked questions about the application process.
Do I need a Director ID number?
You’ll need a DIN if you are the director of (or soon to become the director of):
- A company used for running a business.
- A company used to hold investments.
- A trustee company for a trust.
- A trustee company for an SMSF.
- A charity or not-for-profit organisation.
- A foreign company that is registered with ASIC and is carrying on a business in Australia.
- An Australia body, like an incorporated association.
You do not need a Director ID number if you’re running your business as a sole trader, partnership with individual partners or trust with individual trustees.
How do I apply for a Director ID number?
It’s pretty simple (no honestly, we’ve already done it).
The new Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) will administer the Director ID number register, which will gradually integrate all government business registers into one easily accessible register with greater security. In order to apply for a Director ID number you can apply through myGovID, over the phone or by submitting a paper form. In our experience myGovID is by far the easiest way to apply.
How do I set up a myGovID?
On your smartphone head to the app store and download the app ‘myGovID’. Confusingly, this is different to mygov (seriously, who names this stuff?). The icon is a dark green background with a light green fingerprint on it.
Once you’ve downloaded the myGovID app you need to enter in your full name as it appears on your ID documents, your date of birth and your email address.
There are three types of identity strength – basic, standard or strong. For the Director ID number application, you need your ID strength to be at least a standard strength but for security purposes we recommend setting up your profile to be the strongest identity strength.
For a standard identity strength you need to enter your personal details and verify at least two of the following Australian identity documents (your name must match on both):
- Driver’s licence or learner’s permit, passport (not more than three years expired).
- Birth certificate.
- Visa (using your foreign passport).
- Citizenship certificate.
- Medicare card.
Once you’ve uploaded these documents your myGovID will be set up and can be used to access government online services on behalf of a business. You need to link your myGovID to the Australian business number (ABN) in Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM) but that isn’t needed for the Director ID number application.
What do I do if my names are different from my ID?
If your name doesn’t match across your identity documents, you may be able to verify this using a change of name certificate (Tasmania, South Australia, Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory only) or marriage certificate. Kate had to do this, she uploaded her marriage certificate on her myGovID account and was approved.
Ok great, now you need to apply for the Director ID:
Once you’ve successfully set up your myGovID you head over to the ABRS website by clicking here and scrolling to point 3 – Complete Your Application. Hit ‘Apply now with myGovID’ and log in.
Input your email address that you used to set up your myGovID account and hit submit. A 4-digit code will pop up on screen. On your myGovID app on your phone a notification will appear – click on this and enter the code you see in the app onto the screen. This then starts the application process.
To apply you’ll need to submit the following documents to verify yourself:
- Your current residential address.
- Your personal tax file number (not the tax file number of your company).
- Information from two types of documentation that verifies who you are. The options are your personal bank account details, details on your ATO notice of assessment (we can help supply this if you’re a current client), your super details, a dividend statement, a Centerlink payment summary or a PAYG summary.
If you’re submitting via a paper form or over the phone these documents need to be certified copies but via myGovID they don’t need to be.
Once you’ve been able to verify your ID the system will instantly provide the 15-digit Director ID number.
Important: make sure you save your Director ID number before you close the page.
It’s important that your print this confirmation page, or copy and paste the ID number as it does not get sent to you via post. Once you’ve received your Director ID number you’ll have it for life, kinda like your tax file number. It’s linked to you – not your company so you only need one. And, just like your tax file number it is a very secure number so it won’t be searchable on a public register (as at today’s date anyway) and you shouldn’t hand it out willy-nilly.
You can log in to ABRS online using your myGovID to view your director ID number or update your details whenever you need to. You can also:
- Check your director ID number and status, including when it was issued.
- View things to do, actions in progress and past activity.
- Edit your profile preferences and some of your personal details.
When do I need to apply for a Director ID number?
When you must apply for your director ID number depends on the date you become a director.
- Existing directors have until November 2022 to register for a director ID number.
- New directors appointed between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022 must apply within 28 days of being appointed as a director.
- New directors appointed from 5 April 2022 must obtain a director ID number before a director appointment.
- Prospective directors can apply for a director ID up to 12 months ahead of the appointment.
Can you apply for a Director ID number on my behalf?
Sadly not – we wish we could do this for everyone but as it requires your phone and personal ID docs this needs to be completed yourself. You are however more than welcome to book an appointment or chat to us. You can bring in all the documentation above and we can talk you through the process face to face.
What do I do with my Director ID number once I’ve applied?
Please send the Director ID number to us (if we’re your accountant). We will save this number on file and will use it for future company applications. You’ll also need to save it securely for your records.