On January 17, 2023, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) published a notice seeking public comment on the application that will be used by individuals to obtain a unique FinCEN Identifier (a “FinCEN ID”), consistent with the final rule that FinCEN issued on September 29, 2022 implementing the beneficial ownership information (“BOI”) reporting provisions of the Corporate Transparency Act (the “CTA”). Please refer to our prior article on the final rule for more background.
A FinCEN ID is a unique identifying number assigned by FinCEN to an individual or reporting company, upon request, who provides to FinCEN the same BOI details required by the CTA. The FinCEN ID, analogous to a U.S. tax identification number or an employment identification number, would allow beneficial owners, company applicants, and reporting companies to provide the number to a reporting company to disclose to FinCEN in lieu of the actual BOI. The primary benefits to individual beneficial owners in obtaining a FinCEN ID include data security and administrative efficiency.
Applying for a FinCEN ID is voluntary and requires individuals to file applications containing certain BOI electronically with FinCEN, and to submit updates of their BOI as needed. An individual beneficial owner applying for a FinCEN ID will likely be expected to provide BOI such as the individual’s name, date of birth, address, and a government issued form of identification. The individual must also certify that the information furnished is true, correct, and complete. For more information on the data fields that will likely need to be provided on the application you can click on the following link to the Appendix-FinCEN Identifier Application Summary of Data Fields included in the notice. FinCEN anticipates that initial applications would require approximately 20 minutes to complete and that subsequent updates would require 10 minutes to complete. FinCEN will store such BOI in the secure, non-public database that FinCEN is currently in the process of building, and which is intended to be accessible only by authorized users.