Further Insights into BOI Reporting: Understanding the Role of a FinCEN Identifier

FinCEN Identifier

4 min read

Starting January 1, 2024, companies are required to report their beneficial owners to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) within the U.S. Department of Treasury. This mandate aims to prevent bad actors from concealing their identities or profiting from illegal activities via shell companies or complex ownership arrangements.

In our previous blog post, Simplifying the Corporate Transparency Act: What Your Business Needs to Know, we provided an overview of this important legislation and answered key questions you might have surrounding it, like is your business subject to CTA compliance, are there exceptions to the reporting obligations, and what exactly you need to do next.

Here, we are sharing more about the FinCEN identifier and the circumstances in which a reporting company may report an entity's FinCEN identifier in lieu of information about an individual beneficial owner.

What Is a FinCEN Identifier?

A FinCEN identifier is a unique identifying number issued by FinCEN to individuals or reporting companies upon request. This identifier simplifies the reporting process by allowing individuals and entities to provide a single identifier to all entities filing a BOI report rather than repeatedly submitting personal data to each company where the individual is listed as a beneficial owner.

How Can You Request a FinCEN Identifier?

Individuals and reporting companies can now request a FinCEN Identifier by completing an electronic web form available at the official FinCEN ID website. The process is designed to be straightforward, ensuring compliance is manageable for businesses and individuals alike.

What Are the Advantages of Using a FinCEN Identifier?

The primary advantage of obtaining a FinCEN identifier lies in its ability to significantly reduce the administrative burden associated with the submission of personal data. Instead of providing detailed personal information — such as name, date of birth, address, and copies of documents like a driver’s license or passport — to each company where an individual is a beneficial owner, the FinCEN identifier allows this information to be submitted once. This not only streamlines the process but also enhances privacy and security by minimizing the exposure of sensitive personal information.

Can Reporting Companies Utilize the FinCEN Identifier?

Reporting companies, too, can request a FinCEN identifier by simply checking a box on the BOI report upon submission. While obtaining an identifier is not mandatory, it represents a proactive step towards simplifying compliance efforts and fostering a more transparent corporate environment.

What Are the Responsibilities for Maintaining and Updating a FinCEN Identifier?

Responsibility for maintaining the accuracy of the information associated with a FinCEN identifier rests with the individual or entity to whom it has been issued. Any changes to the submitted information must be corrected or updated within 30 days of the change, ensuring that the records remain current and accurate.

The Impact of the FinCEN Identifier on Corporate Transparency

The introduction of the FinCEN identifier marks a significant advancement in the ongoing efforts to enhance corporate transparency and combat financial crime. By simplifying the reporting process and reducing the administrative burden on individuals and businesses, FinCEN is paving the way for a more efficient and secure financial system.


As we navigate these new waters, staying informed and proactive in compliance practices is essential. Given the CTA's implications, we strongly recommend consulting with a legal expert. Unlike typical accounting or tax matters, the preparation and compliance of these forms is fundamentally a legal affair. It's important to understand that while we are here to provide guidance, our role does not extend to the direct preparation of these reports.

For further information and to stay updated on the latest developments, we recommend exploring the comprehensive FAQ section on the official FinCEN website.


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February 20, 2024