What Is a Company Applicant?
Starting in January 2024, companies will need to file a Beneficial Ownership Information Report, which asks for information about the entity’s beneficial owners and company applicant. Your company applicant is the person or business entity that files the document forming or registering your company with the state, tribe, or other US jurisdiction.
In this article, we’ll cover:
How to Report Company Applicant Information
Required under the federal Corporate Transparency Act, most businesses will need to file a BOI Report. That said, not all companies will need to include company applicant information on their BOI Report.
A reporting company that was formed or registered before January 1, 2024—the date the Corporate Transparency Act kicks in—does not have to provide information about company applicants as part of its BOI Report. Those companies must still provide information about the company’s beneficial owners, or the people with majority control over the business.
But if you form or register a company after January 1, 2024, you’ve got to include the following company applicant information:
- Legal name, date of birth, address
- A unique identifying number from one of the following: a non-expired driver’s license, a non-expired ID issued by a state, local government, or tribe, a non-expired U.S. passport, or, if none of the above or available, a non-expired foreign passport
- The state or jurisdiction that issued the identifying document
- An image of the identifying document
When filing the first time, you can request a FinCen Identifier, or a FinCEN-assigned unique identifying number, to use in future reports. This keeps you from having to submit the above information every time you submit or update the report. Instead, you can simply submit your unique FinCen identifier.
The company’s formation date also determines when your BOI Report is due. If your business was formed or registered before January 1, 2024, your report is due by January 1, 2025. Businesses formed in 2024 have 90 days to file a report. Businesses formed after January 1, 2025 will only have 30 days to file their BOI Report.
Who has to report company applicant information?
If you’ve formed or registered a corporation or LLC after January 1, 2024, you’ll most likely have to file a BOI Report with company applicant information. Corporations or LLCs formed before that date have to submit BOI Reports, but, as mentioned above, they don’t have to include company applicant information.
There is, however, a long list of BOI reporting exemptions—23, in fact. Basically, if you already report beneficial owner info to the state or federal government, you’re exempt. If you run a domestic sole proprietorship, you’re also exempt.
How do I find my company applicant?
Think back to who filed the documentation to either form or register a company. In most states, this document is filed with the Secretary of State. The person listed as the incorporator or organizer is most likely the company applicant.
Company Applicant vs. Incorporator/Organizer
There really isn’t a difference between your company applicant and your business’ incorporator or organizer. An LLC organizer or incorporator is in charge of filing formation paperwork with the state. That’s exactly what a company applicant does.
The only difference is the terminology, and for some reason, the federal government has decided “company applicant” sounds better to them than “organizer” or “incorporator.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the company applicant the owner?
Not necessarily. It can be, if the owner wants to file their own paperwork, but it doesn’t have to be. A company applicant can be a beneficial owner, a member, an employee, or someone hired by the company—like Northwest Registered Agent—to file the paperwork. It can be just about any adult who is capable of filing the right document.
How many company applicants can one business have?
There’s usually only one company applicant, but there can be two if the filing was “directed” by someone else. So if another person was giving instructions to the person who filed the document, then they could also be considered a company applicant.
How do I submit my BOI Report to FinCen?
You can file your BOI Report through FInCEN’s online portal. You have the option to file everything online or complete the report offline (via a PDF) and submit it online later. Either way, you’ll have to submit the report via FinCEN’s website.
Will my company applicant information be public?
No, your information will not be accessible to the public. Only specific groups, like law enforcement agencies and financial institutions, will be able to access the online database.
Do I have to file a BOI Report annually?
No, you only have to file it once. After that, you’ll need to file an update only if information on the report changes, or if you realize the information you submitted is incorrect.
How do I update or correct company applicant information?
If you find out there’s wrong information on your BOI Report, you must correct it within 30 days of when you become aware of the inaccuracy. You can update information via FinCEN’s online BOI Filing portal.
What happens if I don’t file the BOI Report or don’t update it?
You could be charged a fine of $591 a day up to $10,000, and you could also be jailed for two years. The BOI Report may be annoying, but it’s not worth getting fined or thrown behind bars.
*This is informational commentary, not advice. This information is intended strictly for informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel. This information is not intended to create, nor does your receipt, viewing, or use of it constitute, an attorney-client relationship. More information is available in our Terms of Service.