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FinCEN's Final Rule Enhances Corporate Transparency with Unique Identifier Option

FinCEN, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, has recently announced a significant development in its efforts to enhance corporate transparency in the United States. On Tuesday, the agency issued a final rule that outlines when a reporting company can use a FinCEN identifier in place of providing information about an individual beneficial owner.

FinCEN's Final Rule Enhances Corporate Transparency with Unique Identifier Option

A FinCEN identifier is a unique number issued by the agency upon request, provided the necessary information has been submitted. While obtaining a FinCEN identifier is not mandatory, it can streamline the reporting process, allowing entities or individuals to directly supply the required identifying information to FinCEN.

The new rule, an amendment to FinCEN's Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) Reporting Rule, addresses concerns raised by commenters who worried that reporting entity FinCEN identifiers might obscure the identities of beneficial owners, potentially leading to greater secrecy or incomplete and misleading disclosures. To mitigate this risk, the final rule lays out clear criteria that reporting companies must meet in order to report an intermediate entity's FinCEN identifier instead of individual beneficial owner information.

FinCEN Director Andrea Gacki emphasized the significance of this final rule, stating, "This final rule is another concrete step towards implementing a beneficial ownership information reporting regime that will enhance corporate transparency in the United States."


The effective date of this final rule is set for January 1, 2024, aligning with the effective date of the BOI Reporting Rule. Starting from this date, many U.S. companies will be required to report information about their beneficial owners, the individuals who ultimately own or control the company, to FinCEN, which operates as a bureau within the U.S. Department of the Treasury. For more details on FinCEN identifiers and compliance, interested parties can refer to Chapter 4.3 of FinCEN's Small Entity Compliance Guide, available on the FinCEN website.

This development represents a significant step toward enhancing transparency in corporate ownership and is part of broader efforts to combat financial crimes and money laundering in the United States.


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