Submitted by UCS on November 8, 2023
Of the changes coming with the new legislation regarding the Corporate Transparency Act (“CTA”), a new government identifier will be obtainable to streamline the process of submitting Beneficial Owner Information (BOI) reports and fill out company applicant information. This new identifier is called the FinCEN Identifier and is sometimes referred to as a “FinCEN number” or a “FinCEN ID” in various reports on the CTA.
FinCEN Identifier defined
Here is FinCEN’s definition: “A ‘FinCEN identifier’ is a unique identifying number that FinCEN will issue to an individual or reporting company upon request after the individual or reporting company provides certain information to FinCEN. An individual or reporting company may only receive one FinCEN identifier.”
The following is valuable information regarding this ID taken from FinCEN’s Small Business Compliance Guide:
What information do you need to provide to FinCEN?
FinCEN explains that obtaining and using a FinCEN ID is a way to protect personal information. Since the process of receiving a FinCEN ID requires providing an individual’s “full legal name, date of birth, address, unique identifying number and issuing jurisdiction from an acceptable identification document, and an image of the identification document,” this information is not additionally needed on a BOI report. So, Beneficial Owners or Company Applicants who obtain a FinCEN ID will be able to use this ID instead of putting the above personal information on a BOI report which may be seen by paralegals, service company employees, attorneys, and, naturally, beneficial owners as well as the public at large.
In their small business compliance guide, FinCEN states that applications for FinCEN Identifiers will be immediately processed upon inputting the required information on their portal. The portal will be on FinCEN’s website beginning January 1, 2024. Additionally, a reporting company may opt in when submitting their BOI report to receive their FinCEN ID, and this will likewise be immediate along with the BOI report submission.
One last thing to note is regarding the upkeep of a FinCEN ID. Any change of personal information included in the application of your FinCEN identifier must be reported on FinCEN’s website within 30 days of the change. FinCEN has not stated whether these FinCEN identifiers will be able to be deactivated—FinCEN is “assessing options to allow individuals to deactivate a FinCEN identifier so that they do not need to update the underlying personal information on an ongoing basis.”
Disclaimer: The content and materials which have been prepared by United Corporate Services, Inc. regarding the Corporate Transparency Act are for informational purposes only, and are not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any future corporate formation transactions. Content regarding the Corporate Transparency Act has been taken directly from FinCEN. Additional information regarding the Corporate Transparency Act is available through the FinCEN website by clicking here or you can contact FinCEN directly with additional questions here.