Have you ever wondered how to enhance transparency and accountability in the world of business leadership?
In order to maintain transparency and accountability, Australia has introduced a unique identifier called the DIN or director identification number. The DIN is assigned to the directors in the country, and it plays a crucial role in making sure that corporate governance remains traceable and transparent as well as above board.
In this article, we will delve into the details of the DIN, including who requires it and the consequences of not having a DIN.
What Is A Director Identification Number?
A director identification number, or director ID, is a special identifier that is assigned to directors.
It is a unique identification number that is personal to the director. It is applied once and remains with them throughout their directorial career, regardless of the number of companies the director is associated with.
The law requires every business to verify its identity with the ABRS (Australian Business Registry Services) before receiving a director ID.
Who Needs A Director ID?
If you are an eligible officer of the following, you would need a director ID:
- A registered Australian body, a company, or a registered foreign company under the Corporation ACT 2001
- An Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation that is registered under the Corporations Act 2006 (CATSI Act).
But what is an eligible officer? It is a person who is appointed as either a director or an alternate director acting in that capacity.
Along with this, a director ID is also required if you are a director of a:
- Corporate trustee;
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation;
- Charity or not-for-profit organisation that is either a company or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation;
- Registered Australian body such as an incorporated association registered with the ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission) and trades outside the territory or the state in which it is incorporated;
- Foreign company that is registered with ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission) and carrying on business in Australia;
Who Does Not Need A Director ID?
In the given circumstances, a director ID isn’t needed:
- You are a director of an incorporated association registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission;
- You are acting as an external administrator of a company;
- You are a company secretary but not a director;
- You run your business as a sole trader or partnership.
Why Are Director IDs required?
You will need a director ID for the following reasons:
- To prevent the use of fake or fraudulent director identities;
- To make it easier for external administrators and regulators to trace directors’ relationships with their companies over time;
- To identify as well as address director involvement in unlawful activity
The director ID confirms your identity and can be used in the future to show which companies you are linked to.
DIN – Eligibility Criteria
Now, let’s focus on the eligibility criteria for a DIN in Australia.
- You have to be at least 18 years old.
- You must provide valid identity proof.
- You should not be disqualified from being a director under any Australian law.
What if I do not have a Director Identification Number (DIN)
What if you are operating without a DIN in Australia? Well, there are a number of consequences that you may need to face, which include:
Legal penalties are one of the most common repercussions that you may have to face in the absence of a valid director identification number or director ID.
Directors who don’t have a valid DIN can be subject to huge fines. Such penalties are applied to ensure directors take their Director IDs seriously.
Potential Legal Actions
Besides legal penalties, the company represented by a director who does not have a director identification number might also have to face legal action. It can not only lead to more financial penalties but also affect the reputation of the business.
As a DIN is a fundamental requirement for a director, lacking one may prohibit you from holding directorial positions in the future. Thus, it can have a severe impact on your corporate career.
Loss of trust
A company’s stakeholders, such as investors and employees, may lose confidence in the organisation if its directors are discovered operating without a Director Identification Number (DIN) in Australia.
This loss of trust has the potential to result in a decline in investments, partnerships, and employee morale.
Now, how can you apply for a director identification number? For this, you should reach out to the official website of the Australian Business Registry Services.
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