It seems business leaders aren’t worried about recession anymore. At least that’s what the annual World Economic Forum decided last week.
Economic experts and business leaders are saying that we’re not likely to see a U.S. recession in 2024. The Federal Reserve might lower interest rates soon, and people are feeling more confident about spending money, which is making everyone more hopeful about the economy.
I am hearing from plenty of Sugar Land business owners, though, that they ARE worried about something else.
There are a lot of acronyms flying around business owner land about the new beneficial ownership reporting requirements that you might not be familiar with. CTA, BOI, FinCEN, BOSS. And the threat triggering fear in the hearts of business owners everywhere — daily compounding financial penalties for non-compliance.
Fear not. (I’m tempted to insert a nerdy joke here about being an “accountant to the rescue,” but I might lose you and I do really want to help remove some of the anxiety that led you to reading this note in the first place.)
So permit me to alleviate your concerns and answer some common questions about the new BOI reporting requirements that are now in effect (as of January 1, 2024).
But let me note this first: FinCEN has recently added this notice to their website, regarding newly emerging attempts at fraud.
Alert: FinCEN has been notified of recent fraudulent attempts to solicit information from individuals and entities who may be subject to reporting requirements under the Corporate Transparency Act. The fraudulent correspondence may be titled “Important Compliance Notice” and asks the recipient to click on a URL or to scan a QR code. Those e-mails or letters are fraudulent. FinCEN does not send unsolicited requests. Please do not respond to these fraudulent messages, or click on any links or scan any QR codes within them.
So be sure to steer clear of that. Now let’s get you compliant…
All About BOI Reporting for Sugar Land Business Owners
“Prevention is better than cure.” – Dutch Proverb
The Corporate Transparency Act of 2021 is a big deal in the business world right now, and it affects 32 million entities in the U.S. Does it affect your business? That’s what I want you to be able to answer today, and what you need to do about it.
Here is the full guide for small entity compliance if you want to navigate this on your own. Of course, this is part of what I do for my clients, and I’m prepared to walk this through with your business.
But here’s a basic primer on the new BOI reporting requirements that everyone’s talking (and often, frazzled) about…
What is the Corporate Transparency Act?
The CTA, which became law in January 2021, is part of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020. Its goal is to beef up anti-money laundering measures by increasing transparency in business ownership. Essentially, it requires certain U.S. and foreign business entities to report key information about their beneficial owners to FinCEN, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
Who is FinCEN?
FinCEN is a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Their mission? To safeguard the financial system from illicit use, combat money laundering, and promote national security through the collection, analysis, and dissemination of financial intelligence. They’re essentially the big guns when it comes to monitoring and analyzing financial transactions to prevent financial crimes.
What are the new requirements for reporting?
Under the CTA, certain companies need to report their beneficial owners to FinCEN. A beneficial owner is anyone who, directly or indirectly, exercises substantial control over a company or owns at least 25% of its ownership interests. The reported info includes names, birthdates, addresses, and official ID numbers (like a driver’s license, with an accompanying image of your license).
Does this apply to my business?
This is where it gets uber-specific. The CTA affects most LLCs, corporations, S corporations, limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships, and business trusts formed in the U.S. or registered to do business here.
However, there are exemptions (23 categories of them), like publicly traded companies and large operating companies with over 20 employees in the U.S., more than $5 million in gross receipts, and a physical office here.
If you’re running a smaller operation or just starting out, you’re likely on the hook to comply with this. But sole proprietorships and general partnerships do not have to worry about BOI reporting because they’re not officially registered entities.
What is the BOI reporting deadline?
Like everything else, there is a deadline to file. If your business was around before January 1, 2024, you’ve got until January 1, 2025, to file your first report.
For businesses formed or registered after January 1, 2024, you need to report within 30 days of formation or registration. And if there’s a change in ownership info, you’ve got 30 days to update it.
What happens if I don’t file?
Bad things. Failing to report can lead to stiff penalties — up to 500 dollars per day for civil fines and potentially criminal penalties, including fines up to 10K and even imprisonment. It’s serious business.
This sounds like a lot at first blush, but my team is here to help you navigate these new waters and ensure your business stays compliant with these BOI reporting requirements.
Reach out, and I’ll help you check this off your list:
As more of this kind of transparency to business ownership emerges, let’s look on the bright side. As you adapt, consider how this increased transparency can actually benefit your Houston business in the long run. Could it foster greater trust with your clients and partners? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Looking out for your business,