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Final rules on accessing the beneficial ownership database have been issued by Washington

Existing companies must file within one year, while new companies have a 90-day window after creation or registration with FinCEN to submit information to the national beneficial ownership database. The required details for each beneficial owner include their name, date of birth, address, and the identifying number of a current US driving license, passport, or another relevant document.


FinCEN, which administers the database, issued a final rule at the end of 2023 defining the access rights of authorized entities. Access will be phased in, starting from February 20, and will include federal, state, and foreign law enforcement agencies, financial institutions, regulators, and the US Treasury. Notably, the purpose of 'customer due diligence requirements under applicable law' has been expanded to encompass legal requirements related to countering money laundering, terrorism financing, or safeguarding national security.


The phased-in access begins with a pilot program for select federal agencies, followed by other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. Financial institutions are likely to gain access only after the issuance of an updated Know Your Customer (KYC) rule, expected in January 2025. Certain financial institutions, excluding those like money transmitters, may be excluded. The final rule permits sharing beneficial ownership information with personnel outside the USA but prohibits sharing with personnel in China, Russia, jurisdictions under comprehensive sanctions, or state sponsors of terrorism.


The exact operational details of the database are still unclear, with FinCEN not planning to provide bulk data exports but intending to offer an application programming interface for authorized users to query the database.


Contacts


If you require assistance in relation to the above and/or would like to discuss anything further, please do not hesitate to contact info@act.london or your usual A.C.T. contact.

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