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  • Understanding Beneficial Ownership Information: A Guide for Businesses

    Posted by Natalie Paris on March 19, 2024 at 2:02 pm

    When it comes to financial regulations, understanding and complying with Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) is key for businesses. Beneficial Ownership Information refers to the details of individuals who ultimately own or control a legal entity. These regulations were established in 2021 by the Corporate Transparency Act to combat money laundering, terrorism financing, and other illicit finance activities. In this post, we’ll break down what BOI is, who it’s for, how to fill it out, and its significance for businesses.

    What is a Beneficial Ownership Form?

    A Beneficial Ownership form is a regulatory requirement enforced by agencies like the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in the United States. It requires that certain businesses collect and report information about their beneficial owners (AKA, the individuals who ultimately own or control the company). This information allows law enforcement agencies and financial institutions to identify and prevent illicit financial activities.

    Who Needs to Provide Beneficial Ownership Information?

    BOI requirements typically apply to legal entities such as corporations and LLCs. If your business was created in the United States by filing a document with the Secretary of State or a similar office, you’ll be required to report about your beneficial owners. BOI requirements also apply to foreign companies that were registered to do business in any U.S. state or Indian tribe by the necessary filing.

    Companies required to report are called “reporting companies,” and therefore, may have to obtain information from their beneficial owners and report on that information to FinCEN.

    There are 23 types of business entities that are exempt from BOI reporting, including publicly traded companies, nonprofit organizations, and certain large operating companies.

    How to File a Beneficial Ownership Report

    To fill out a BOI form, it involves providing detailed information about the beneficial owners of the company. Follow this step-by-step guide to file a beneficial ownership report if your company is required by law.


    First, determine who qualifies as a beneficial owner of your company according to regulatory guidelines. This typically includes individuals who own or control at least 25% of the entity’s ownership interests or have significant control over its operations. You can find this information and more in the BOI Small Entity Compliance Guide.


    Next, collect the information required for each beneficial owner of the company. This includes their full legal name, date of birth, residential address, Social Security number (or other government-issued identification number), and the percentage of ownership or control of the company.


    To complete the necessary BOI forms, go to https://boiefiling.fincen.gov/ and use either the BOI E-Filing System or the PDF BOI report. There is also a system-to-system API option. Fill out the forms accurately and completely, ensuring that all required fields are filled out with the correct information.


    After filling out the necessary BOI forms, review them for accuracy and completeness. Double-check and verify that all of the information provided for each beneficial owner is up-to-date and accurate.


    Once finished and verified, submit the completed BOI forms to the appropriate entities or institutions as required by law, such as financial institutions, government agencies, or regulatory authorities.

    Why Is Beneficial Ownership Information Important for Businesses?

    It’s key for businesses to comply with BOI requirements in order to avoid penalties, fines, and legal consequences. By providing accurate and transparent information about their beneficial owners, businesses showcase their commitment to running businesses based on integrity, transparency, fairness, and regulatory and legal compliance. Plus, BOI helps enhance the effectiveness of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing efforts, which provides added protection to the overall financial system.

    While Beneficial Ownership Information may sound a bit overwhelming and confusing at first, by taking the necessary steps to understand what it is, its purpose, who qualifies, and how to fill out a BOI form, you can rest easy knowing you are meeting the necessary requirements to contribute to a safer, more secure financial environment.

    Natalie Paris replied 3 months, 3 weeks ago 1 Member · 0 Replies
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