Taylor Legal Blog

The FinCEN Identifier [VIDEO]

Posted by Katherine L. Taylor, Attorney and CPA, Chief Problem SolverJun 19, 20240 Comments

{3 minutes to read}  Hi, there. Are you a business owner who has been reading about how to comply with the Corporate Transparency Act? And have you come across the phrase, or the term — FinCEN Identifier? If so, I will explain to you what that is, how a person or entity obtains a FinCEN identifier, and when that FinCEN identifier should be used.

So first, what is the FinCEN identifier? It's a unique 12-digit ID number that is assigned to either a person or an entity by FinCEN. For individuals, the number is going to begin with a three. For entities, it will begin with a two. It's an identifying number for a person or entity. 

How is that FinCEN identifier obtained? The first way for an individual to apply is to file an application for a FinCEN identifier with FinCEN through the BOSS system (B O S S — the Beneficial Owner Secured System). When you file that application, you are providing all of the information you would have to provide to a Reporting Company that will be listing you as a Beneficial Owner — your name, birth date, mailing address, physical address, and photo ID. 

When any company files its Beneficial Owner Information Report, it will automatically receive a FinCEN identifier for the company. That FinCEN identifier will then be permanently assigned to that entity. 

An individual has a FinCEN identifier or an entity has a FinCEN identifier. So what?

•What do you do with it?

•When is it used? 

An individual can use that identifier number, rather than provide all of their detailed information to the company that has to report them as a Beneficial Owner. So, I own stock or an LLC interest in three different companies. I can obtain a FinCEN identifier and then provide that number to the company rather than all of my detailed information to each company. It is a way to ease the process and keep some of your information from the actual company. If you want to give a limited amount of information, the FinCEN identifier can be used to enter into the system to file your reports. 

Also, many times, a company can be an owner of another company. If that is the case, the company that owns another company can provide that FinCEN identifier to the Reporting Company to provide information about its owners to FinCEN.

You can go on to the FinCEN website and obtain the application. I will put a link below where you can get information about the FinCEN identifier. Anytime you have a question, you can call us or email us. Our contact information is below. Thank you.