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Understanding the Corporate Transparency Act: Requirements, Deadlines, and Impact on Small Businesses

The Corporate Transparency Act (CTA), effective from January 1, 2024, marks a significant shift in the reporting requirements of businesses in the United States. This legislation, part of the broader Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020, aims to combat illicit financial activities by requiring more transparency in the ownership structures of companies. For small business owners, understanding and complying with these new requirements can seem daunting. However, with LegalNature's services, navigating these waters becomes straightforward and stress-free.

Essential FinCEN Reporting Requirements for US and Foreign Companies Under the CTA

Both domestic and foreign companies can be considered reporting companies under the CTA; and all reporting companies need to file a report before the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Domestic reporting companies are corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), or other entities created by filing a document with a Secretary of State (SOS) or any similar office under the law of either:

  • a state of the US;
  • the District of Columbia;
  • the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico;
  • the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands;
  • American Samoa;
  • Guam;
  • the US Virgin Islands;
  • any other commonwealth, territory, or possession of the US; or
  • an Indian tribe. 

On the other hand, foreign reporting companies are non-US entities that are:

  1. corporations, LLCs, or other entities,
  2. formed under the law of a foreign country, and 
  3. registered to do business in any state or tribal jurisdiction by the filing of a document with a SOS or any similar office under the law of a state or Indian tribe.

Understanding CTA Exemptions: Which Businesses Are Not Required to Report?

The act will likely have a considerable impact on small businesses, including limited liability companies (LLCs) and corporations that are not exempt under one or more of the 23 specified categories defined by the CTA. Such categories include the following:

  • Large operating companies
  • Public companies
  • Inactive entities
  • Federally registered investment companies or advisers
  • Venture capital fund advisers
  • Certain pooled investment vehicles
  • Insurance companies and producers
  • Public accounting firms
  • Tax-exempt entities and entities assisting tax-exempt entities
  • Governmental authorities

The CTA also exempts certain entities that operate in highly regulated industries, including the following:

  • Banks, bank holding companies, and savings and loan holding companies
  • Credit unions
  • Money transmitting businesses and money services businesses
  • Securities exchange or clearing agencies
  • Regulated public utilities
  • Financial market utilities
  • Securities brokers or dealers

Filing Your Beneficial Ownership Information Report with FinCEN

The CTA mandates that certain business entities, referred to as "reporting companies," must file a Beneficial Ownership Information Report (BOI report) disclosing information about their beneficial owners. A “beneficial owner” is defined as anyone who:

  • directly or indirectly, exercises substantial control over the company; or
  • owns at least 25% of the company's ownership interests.

Additionally, if the entity was created after January 1st, 2024, then the reporting company will need to disclose information regarding its company applicant(s) in its BOI report. The CTA defines a company applicant as an individual who either:

  1. directly files the document that creates a domestic reporting company or first registers a foreign reporting company to do business in the US; or
  2. is primarily responsible for directing or controlling the filing of the relevant document by another, if more than one individual is involved in the filing.

Both domestic and foreign reporting companies formed or registered before January 1st, 2024 have until January 1st, 2025 to file their initial BOI report. On the other hand, if the company is formed or registered after January 1st, 2024, then the reporting company must file its initial BOI report within:

  • 90 days, if created or registered in 2024; or
  • 30 days, if created or registered on or after January 1, 2025. 

Updating or Changing the BOI Report

If a reporting company suffers any changes to an already submitted BOI report, then the entity will have 30 days to report such changes or correct any inaccuracies.

There are both civil and criminal penalties for violating the CTA, including a fine up to $10,000, imprisonment for up to two years, or both, for any person who willfully provides or attempts to provide a false or fraudulent BOI report or fails to report a complete or updated BOI report to FinCEN. These penalties may also apply to reporting companies and individuals who cause a reporting company not to report or are senior officers of a reporting company at the time of the entity’s failure to accurately report or update its BOI report. 

Streamline CTA Compliance with LegalNature's Reporting Services

LegalNature stands out as a valuable partner for small business owners in this new regulatory landscape. Our platform simplifies the process of creating, filing, and updating your BOI report with FinCEN. Here's how we make compliance easier:


  • Simplified Process: LegalNature's online platform guides you through the reporting process step by step. You don't need to be a legal expert to understand what's required. Our intuitive interface ensures that you provide all the necessary information accurately and efficiently.
  • Comprehensive Support: Beyond just filing reports, LegalNature offers a range of legal documents and business services tailored to the needs of small businesses. Whether you're forming a new company, drafting contracts, or seeking registered agent services, we've got you covered.
  • Cost-Effective Solutions: We understand that small business owners are often working with limited budgets. LegalNature's services are priced to offer high value without compromising quality. Our transparent pricing structure means you know exactly what you're paying for, with no hidden fees.
  • Security and Privacy: Your business's and beneficial owners' information is sensitive. LegalNature prioritizes the security of your data, employing robust measures to protect it from unauthorized access. You can trust us to handle your information with the utmost care and confidentiality.
  • Ongoing Compliance: The CTA requires that businesses update their BOI report within 30 days of any changes to beneficial ownership information. LegalNature's platform makes it easy to submit these updates, ensuring that your business remains in compliance over time. 


For small business owners, the Corporate Transparency Act introduces new responsibilities that cannot be ignored. However, with LegalNature's comprehensive suite of services, complying with these requirements becomes a manageable part of your business operations. Our goal is to empower you to focus on what you do best—running your business—while we take care of the rest.