FinCEN Announces Updates to Its FAQ

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Date: 1/1/2024

FinCEN Updates Frequently Asked Questions on Beneficial Ownership Information

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has updated its Beneficial Ownership Information Frequently Asked Questions to include new information about reporting companies, beneficial owners, company applicants, reporting requirements, and reporting company exemptions, as well as updated information about FinCEN identifiers.

FinCEN is now accepting beneficial ownership information reports. Filing is simple, secure, and free. To find out more about the reporting process, visit

Frequently Asked Questions:

Questions Updated?

FinCEN updated the following questions and answers in its FAQ:


    • B. 1. Should my company report beneficial ownership information now?  The quick answer is “sure,” and then a surprise:  Reporting companies created now or after January 1st, 2024, have 90-days to file their initial BOIR.  However, reporting companies created after January 1st, 2025, will only have 30-days to file their initial BOIR.  It seems the 90-day extension for new companies is just temporary.






    • D. 11. What should a reporting company report if its ownership is in dispute?  This is a GREAT question, and FinCEN completely dodges the question by basically repeating the general rule:  You need to report (1) all individuals who exercise substantial control over the company, and (2) all individuals who own or control, or have a claim to ownership or control of, at least 25 percent ownership interests in the company.  The problem is, I don’t think the FinCEN interface (I honestly haven’t tried it yet, so will update this once I do), permit you to enter a name with missing personal information because the Beneficial Owner is refusing to give that information up?  This is going to be a big issue in the upcoming months and years.


    • D. 12. Who does a reporting company report as a beneficial owner if a corporate entity owns or controls 25 percent or more of the ownership interests of the reporting company? This is an interesting question, and FinCEN says (1) you need to report the BOI of those individuals who indirectly either (1) exercise substantial control or (2) own or control 25% or more of the ownership interests in the Reporting Company.  If FinCEN stopped there, I would have said “nothing new here.”  However, FinCEN then goes on to say that there are two narrow exceptions.  First, you can report the entity itself instead of any individuals, if that entity is an exempt entity.  Second, “If the beneficial owners of the reporting company and the intermediate company are the same individuals, a reporting company may report the FinCEN identifier and full legal name of an intermediate company through which an individual is a beneficial owner of the reporting company.”   This all makes sense, but it’s good to see FinCEN address it directly.









    • M. 2. How can I use a FinCEN identifier?  Nothing new here, except FinCEN does identify three areas where a company instead of an individual may be reported to FinCEN: ” (1) the other entity obtains a FinCEN identifier and provides it to the reporting company; (2) the beneficial owners hold interests in the reporting company through ownership interests in the other entity; and (3) the beneficial owners of the reporting company and the other entity are the exact same individuals.




That’s it for January updates.

About Laurence Donahue

Larry Donahue is the managing member of Law 4 Small Business (L4SB), a leading law firm in high-tech, small business and Internet law. Mr. Donahue possesses over 30 years of legal experience, with a focus on Internet law, intellectual property, corporate law, and contracts. Mr. Donahue has become the firm's leading attorney on Beneficial Ownership Information reporting compliance.

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