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  • Stephan Brown

Are You A Beneficial Owner Under the CTA?

As of January 1, 2024, a wide array of business entities in the U.S., including corporations and LLCs, are now subject to new reporting requirements under the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA). This initiative, enforced by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), mandates submitting a Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) report. This legislation aims to enhance transparency and combat financial crimes by requiring entities to disclose information about their beneficial owners. Failure to comply could result in significant penalties.

Benefical Owner

Identifying Beneficial Owners

A beneficial owner is identified as someone who either holds substantial control over the entity or owns a significant portion of it, precisely more than 25% of its ownership interests. This definition extends to those who influence significant decisions or policies, highlighting the broad scope of what constitutes control or influence within a business setting.

Criteria for Substantial Control

Substantial control encompasses roles and actions ranging from holding vital executive positions to having significant influence over critical business decisions. This can include, but is not limited to, influencing the company’s strategic direction, financial practices, and operational priorities. The CTA outlines specific scenarios and positions that exemplify substantial control, emphasizing the importance of transparency and accountability at the highest levels of corporate governance.

Ownership Interests Explained

Ownership interests are broadly defined as any form of equity, shares, or financial instruments denoting ownership or control within an entity. This comprehensive definition ensures that various ownership and control mechanisms, whether direct or indirect, are captured under the CTA. It reflects the act’s intention to cover multiple financial and ownership structures, thereby preventing reporting responsibility evasion.

Exclusions from the Beneficial Owner Definition

The CTA specifies exceptions to the definition of a beneficial owner, such as minor children, nominees acting on behalf of another, and employees without significant control or economic benefits outside of their employment. These exclusions focus on those with genuine influence and control over an entity rather than individuals with nominal or indirect connections.

Reporting Deadlines and Requirements

The deadlines for filing the BOI report vary depending on when the entity was formed or registered. Entities existing before the act's implementation date have until January 1, 2025, to comply, while those established afterward face different timelines based on their formation date. These provisions ensure a phased approach to compliance, giving entities adequate time to understand and meet their reporting obligations.

  • Businesses established or registered before January 1, 2024, are eligible to submit their initial report starting from January 1, 2024, and must do so by January 1, 2025. 

  • Entities that come into existence or are registered from January 1, 2024, up to and including January 1, 2025, must file their initial report within 90 days after they are officially formed or registered. 

  • For businesses formed or registered from January 1, 2025, the initial report should be filed within 30 days following their official formation or registration notice.



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