By Meng Cheong & Morgan Collens


Following the introduction of Director Identification Numbers (DIN) in 2021, on 19 March 2024 ASIC made its first prosecution under the new compliance measures.

On this day, a company director, who’s identity remains confidential under a non-publication order, appeared in the Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney and was charged with one count of contravening section 1272C(1) of the Corporations Act 2001 by failing to have a DIN.

Whilst no further details have been released by ASIC at this stage, it is well known that the maximum penalty for an offence of this nature is 60 penalty units, or $13,320.00.


Why did ASIC introduce director ID?

Director Identification Numbers were introduced by ASIC to help:

  1. Prevent the use of false or fraudulent director identities.
  2. Make it easier for external administrators and regulators to trace directors’ relationships with companies over time.
  3. Identify and eliminate director involvement in unlawful activity, such as illegal phoenix activity which is when a company is liquidated, wound up, or abandoned to avoid paying its debts. A new company is then started to continue the same business without the debt.


You need a director ID if you are a director of either a:

  • Company.
  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Corporation.
  • Corporate Trustee, for example, a Self-Managed Super Fund.
  • Charity or Not for Profit Organisation that is a Company or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation.
  • Registered Australian Body, for example, an incorporated association that is registered with ASIC and trades outside the state or territory in which it is incorporated.
  • Foreign company registered with ASIC and carrying on business in Australia, regardless of where you live.


You do not need a director ID if you are either:

  • A company secretary but not a director.
  • Acting as an external administrator of a company.
  • Running a business as a sole trader or partnership.
  • Referred to as a ‘director’ in your job title but have not been appointed as a director under the Corporations Act or the CATSI Act.
  • A director of a registered charity with an organisation type that is not registered with ASIC or ORIC to operate throughout Australia.
  • 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.
  • A director before 31 October 2021, but no longer hold any director roles on or after 1 December 2022.


If you plan to become a director, you must apply for a director ID before you’re appointed.

If you’re already a director and don’t have a director ID, you must apply now.

To avoid becoming another ASIC prosecution headline, you can apply for your director ID here:


Disclaimer: This publication contains comments of a general and introductory nature only and is provided as an information service. It is not intended to be relied upon as, nor is it a substitute for specific professional legal advice. You should always speak to us and obtain legal advice before taking any action relating to matters raised in this publication.