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  • Writer's pictureMilan Solarz-Patel

Preparing for FinCEN’s New Beneficial Ownership Reporting in 2024

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The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the U.S. Department of Treasury implemented new reporting requirements effective January 1, 2024, under the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA). These requirements primarily target the disclosure of beneficial ownership information (BOI) for specific entities. Understanding and complying with these requirements is crucial for affected businesses and entities.

Key Aspects of the FinCEN BOI Reporting Requirements Purpose of the Requirements

  • The CTA was enacted to prevent and combat the misuse of legal entities for purposes such as money laundering, financing terrorism, tax fraud, and other illicit activities. It aims to increase transparency in the ownership structures of legal entities.

Entities Subject to Reporting

  • Generally, these requirements apply to corporations, LLCs, and other similar entities created by filing a document with a secretary of state or similar office. It also includes entities formed under foreign laws but registered to do business in the United States.

Information to be Reported

  • Beneficial Owner Details: Names, dates of birth, addresses, and an identifying number from an acceptable document (e.g., passport or driver's license) for each beneficial owner.

  • Entity Details: The entity’s name, any trade or DBA (“doing business as”) names, business address, and jurisdiction of formation.

  • Applicant Information: This refers to the individual who files the application to form the entity or registers it to do business. Their personal details similar to those of beneficial owners are required.

Timing of Reporting

  • Existing entities must comply by a specific deadline after the rule's effective date, while new entities formed after January 1, 2024, must report as well. Ongoing reporting obligations include updating information about changes in beneficial ownership.

Preparing for Reporting Gathering Documentation

  • Collect identification documents for all beneficial owners and applicants. This includes passports, driver's licenses, or other government-issued IDs.

  • Ensure that you have accurate and current records of the entity’s formation and registration details.

Understanding Ownership and Control

  • Define who qualifies as a beneficial owner in your entity. This typically includes individuals who own a significant percentage (often 25% or more) of the entity or who exercise substantial control over it.

Consulting with Legal Counsel

  • Given the complexity and legal implications, it is advisable to consult with legal experts specializing in corporate law and compliance.

Implementing Compliance Systems

  • Establish internal procedures for periodically updating and verifying the required information. This is crucial for ongoing compliance.

Training Staff

  • Ensure that staff involved in compliance are well-informed about the new requirements and trained in the procedures you’ve established.

Complying with the FinCEN BOI reporting requirements involves a thorough understanding of the regulations, diligent preparation of necessary documentation, and the establishment of internal systems for ongoing compliance. It's a significant step towards enhancing corporate transparency and combating financial crimes.

For more detailed and updated information, please consult the official FinCEN website or legal resources specializing in corporate compliance.

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