COVID-19 Update

Slashing ASIC search fees and combatting illegal phoenix activity

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In a bid to curb illegal Phoenix Activity and enable corporate transparency, the Government has implemented Director Identification Numbers and removed ASIC Search Fees. 

ASIC Search Fees

In the interests of promoting transparency and access to the law, the proposed 2022-23 Budget provides that:

The Government will forgo receipts of $64.9 million over 3 years from 2023-24 to streamline fees associated with Australia’s Business Registers as company registration and lifecycle management moves to the modernised platform (scheduled for September 2023). These reforms will:

  1. Remove the companies annual late review fee
  2. Reduce the number of fees paid for ad hoc lodgements under current requirements
  3. Remove fees for searches conducted on the new registry website
  4. Provide $0.3 million to the Department of Treasury to redesign wholesale business register search services (facilitated by third-party services) (p 6, Budget Paper No. 2).

Director Identification Numbers

These fee removals come shortly after the introduction of Director Identification Numbers (DIN’s). It is now an offence for a director to not have a DIN where required to do so (section 1272C Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Corporations Act)).

A director identification number (DIN) is a recently introduced regime that impacts both foreign and domestic directors of Australian companies.

A DIN is a unique 15-digit identifier used to verify the identity of a director and is permanently assigned to the director. The requirement to have a DIN applies to any person appointed as a director, or any alternate director acting in that company.

Deadlines apply to directors for the application of a DIN, and varies depending on a director’s appointment date as follows:

Date of appointment as directorDate of application for a DIN
On or before 31 October 2021By 30 November 2022
Between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022Within 28 days of appointment
From 5 April 2022Before appointment

The new penalties under the Corporations Act are as follows:

OffenceProvisionMaximum Penalties for Individuals
Failure to have a director ID when required to do sos1272C$13,200 (criminal); $1,100,000 (civil)
Failure to apply for a director ID when directed by the Registrars1272D$13,200 (criminal); $1,100,000 (civil)
Applying for multiple director IDss1272G$26,640, 1 year imprisonment or both (criminal); $1,100,000 (civil)
Misrepresenting director IDs1272H$26,640, 1 year imprisonment or both (criminal); $1,100,000 (civil)

FAL Lawyers has extensive experience in corporate commercial matters and disputes resolution; if you require any commercial expertise, please do not hesitate to contact our team.

Daniel Conti (Graduate Lawyer)

Contact FAL Lawyers for all enquiries