Implementation of Director Identification Numbers for foreign directors

The statutory regime of director identification numbers is now in full swing following the introduction on 1 November 2021. The regime verifies the identity of Directors of Australian companies to combat illegal company phoenix activities and enables regulators to track directors’ corporate history and prevent the use of fictitious identities.

The 15 digit identification number is a unique identifier that is required if you are an eligible officer of: 

  • a company, a registered Australian body or a registered foreign company under the Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act) or
  • an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act).

 Or you are a person who is appointed as:

  • a director 
  • an alternate director who is acting in that capacity.

How to apply?

Foreign resident directors will need to submit a paper-based application if they do not have access to the Australian MyGovID System.

The paper based application requires foreign directors to provide:

  • A certified copy of one primary document, such as a foreign birth certificate or foreign passport; and
  • A certified copy of one secondary document, such as a national photo identification card or driver’s license.

The identity documents must be certified by:

  • Notary publics; or
  • Staff at an Australian embassy, high commission or consulate, including consulates headed by Austrade honorary consuls.

The certifier must, in the presence of the foreign director, certify that each copy is a true and correct copy of the original document. This involves:

  • Sighting the original document;
  • Stamping, signing and annotating the copy of the identity document to state, ‘I have sighted the original document and certify this to be a true and correct copy of the original document sighted’;
  • Initialling each page; and
  • Listing their name, date of certification, phone number and position.

Non-English documentations

Translated documents are required if the original documents are not written in English. An approved translation service must certify the translated document. Each translated document should display an official stamp (or similar) that shows the certifier’s accreditation. Translations should also be accompanied by a certified copy of the original document in the language of origin. The certifier must sign and stamp the original copy of the document as a true and correct copy.

Penalties for non-compliance

Penalties for non-compliance include an infringement notice or civil and criminal penalties. Conduct that may undermine the DIN regime will also incur penalties. If you are unable to apply by the deadline, you can apply for extension of time to apply for a director ID.

Current foreign directors must obtain certified copies of their identification documents and any necessary translation documents in order to apply for a DIN before 30 November 2022.

We recommend that all foreign resident directors commence the application process at the earliest. If you require assistance with the application process, please contact your Mazars advisor or our specialists below via the form below.

Brisbane – Jamie Towers

Melbourne – Evan Beissel

Sydney – Gaibrielle Cleary

+61 7 3218 3900

+61 3 9252 0800

+61 2 9922 1166

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Published: 24/02/2022

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