For existing businesses, the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) goes into effect on January 1, 2024, and imposes a brand-new federal filing requirement on most corporations, limited liability companies, and limited partnerships and on certain other business entities.
No later than December 31, 2024, all non-exempt business entities must file a beneficial owner information report (BOI report) with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)—the Treasury Department’s financial intelligence unit.
These BOI reports must disclose the identities and provide contact information for all of the entity’s “beneficial owners”: the humans who either (1) control 25 percent of the ownership interests in the entity or (2) exercise substantial control over the entity.
Your BOI report must contain all the following information for each beneficial owner:
- Full legal name
- Date of birth
- Complete current residential street address
- A unique identifying number from either a current U.S. passport, state or local ID document, or driver’s license or, if the individual has none of those, a foreign passport
- An image of the document from which the unique identifying number was obtained
FinCEN will create a new database called BOSS (Beneficial Ownership Secure System) for the BOI and will deploy the BOI to help law enforcement agencies prevent the use of anonymous shell companies for money laundering, tax evasion, terrorism, and other illegal purposes. It will not make the BOI reports publicly available.
The CTA applies only to business entities formed by filing a document with a state Secretary of State or similar official, such as corporations and LLCs. It also applies to foreign business entities that register to do business in the United States.
Some businesses are exempt from the CTA, including
- larger businesses with 20 or more employees and $5 million in receipts, and
- businesses already heavily regulated by the government, such as publicly traded corporations, banks, insurance companies, nonprofits, and others.
The CTA does not apply to sole proprietors or general partnerships in most states. But it does apply to single-member LLCs, even though the tax code disregards such entities and taxes them on Schedule C, E, or F of Form 1040.
The initial BOI report filing does not expire, and you don’t need to renew it. But you have an ongoing duty to keep the BOI report up to date by reporting any changes to FinCEN within 30 days.
Failure to comply can result in hefty monetary penalties and up to two years in prison.