The Corporate Transparency Act: Navigating BOI Reporting in 2024 By FileForms

Author: Kenny Dettman and Frank Tumminello   Published: 1/22/2024   File Forms

File Forms Partnership with SBCD

Referral Link: https://partners.fileforms.io/l/93151244/

The Team Presenting Our Webinar

Kenneth (Kenny) Dettman

Kenny Dettman comes from a 15-year background of working as a global tax expert, CEO, Founder, and Operator. He previously worked as a Managing Director at Alvarez & Marsal.

More recently, he founded and led EZ-ERC who is an industry expert and pioneer within the Employee Retention Tax Credits. Kenny is a member of the Forbes Business Council and has been published in the Wall Street Journal.

 

Frank Tumminello

Frank Tumminello comes from a decade-long background of working in the financial services and technology industry. Prior to FileForms, he was an investor, acquirer, and value-creation resource in several financial services, insurance, and healthcare businesses throughout his private equity, corporate development, and investment banking career.

Frank began his career at Raymond James, followed by Oppenheimer & Co. and Century Equity Partners. Most recently, he led a pre-tax healthcare benefits third-party administrator through eight successful acquisitions and a majority recapitalization with a multi-billion-dollar private equity firm. Frank holds his Bachelor of Science in Physics from Bates College, where he minored in Mathematics and wrote a year-long thesis in Computer Science.

About FileForms

FileForms is the trusted software partner for filing federal and state forms and reports on behalf of businesses and their advisors. Its flagship product is a reporting solution for the Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) report, a new federal filing requirement resulting from the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) that is enforced by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), expected to impact more than 35 million U.S. businesses.

The FileForms team is unwaveringly dedicated to revolutionizing the process of preparing and submitting the growing number of federal and state reporting obligations, such as the BOI report, which extend beyond traditional IRS and state tax filings. FileForms had developed a cutting-edge technology platform led by its accomplished executive team to holistically bring ease and accuracy to the compliance requirements of businesses and their advisors.

BOI REPORT

The Unauthorized Practice of Law and the Corporate Transparency Act

By FileForms | December 28, 2023
The Unauthorized Practice of Law and the Corporate Transparency Act
The Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) was enacted in 2021 to mitigate illicit financial activities by requiring most companies that conduct business in the U.S. to report specific information about their beneficial owners to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

FinCEN is a bureau of the U.S. Treasury whose mission is to combat financial crimes by collecting and analyzing information about financial transactions to combat money laundering, terrorist financing, and other financial crimes. The CTA’s reporting requirements take effect on January 1, 2024, and the implications for U.S. business owners and their professional service providers are far-reaching.

Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) Reporting

Unbeknownst to most business owners and even their trusted advisors, BOI reporting is a novel informational filing that will impact approximately 36 – 40 million businesses in the U.S. Certain companies formed before January 1, 2024, who do not qualify for an exemption must file their initial report by January 1, 2025.

New companies formed after January 1, 2024, only have 90 days from formation to file their initial BOI report. Time is of the essence, and U.S. business owners will undoubtedly turn to their professional service providers for guidance and assistance with this new filing requirement. It’s imperative for business advisors to understand their responsibilities and limitations in assisting their clients with CTA compliance.

While BOI reporting may be viewed as a tax filing, it is not administered by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and is subject to different rules and regulations. One of the most essential concepts for nonlawyer professional service providers to be aware of is the Unauthorized Practice of Law (UPL).

The UPL rules dictate what services nonlawyers such as CPAs, tax professionals, and registered agents may provide their clients. Any nonlawyer engaging in UPL may be subject to civil penalties, including fines, loss of licensure, or the ability to practice. Further, nonlawyers cannot collect professional fees directly from their clients for providing such services.

Depending on the severity of UPL violations, practitioners may even be subject to criminal penalties, including jail time.

What is UPL?

The premise of UPL rules is to protect consumers and ensure that practitioners render competent and ethical legal advice aligned with their clients’ interests. However, the Courts have issued many vague opinions over the years that have not concisely defined the practice of law. To determine whether a nonlawyer professional has engaged in UPL, courts have applied tests focusing on the following:

  • The difficulty of the services rendered;
  • Whether such services are incidental in form; or,
  • The services impact on the recipient’s legal rights.

This is intended to provide an overview of the UPL rules and their implications for practitioners. A detailed discussion of the various Courts’ interpretations of UPL over the years is beyond the scope of this article. However, professional service providers should be aware that the UPL rules are complex and vary in each jurisdiction[1].

While some states hold that the practice of law is anything that lawyers do,[2] others merely list activities that constitute the practice of law.[3] Due to the differing views of the States and federal laws that don’t provide a concise definition of UPL, nonlawyers must frequently collaborate with the appropriate legal professionals to ensure they do not inadvertently engage in UPL.

Multidisciplinary Practices (MDPs)

Professional service firms that offer their clients a wide array of professional services are referred to as multidisciplinary practices. Such practices may employ various professionals, including but not limited to lawyers, accountants, registered agents, and financial advisors. Each of these professionals must understand their roles, responsibilities, and especially the limitations of the services they provide their clients.

CPAs, in particular, enjoy certain freedoms due to their strict licensing requirements that encourage competent and ethical practices by licensed CPAs and the staff accountants who assist them. CPAs who pass an additional test may even represent their clients in the U.S. Tax Court.

However, CPAs must still be wary of crossing the line and providing legal advice to their clients. When in doubt, it would be prudent for CPAs to consult or collaborate with an attorney.

Application of UPL to the Corporate Transparency Act

The complexity of a BOI report will vary greatly depending on the nature of the client’s structure and industry. Consider a simple example: a small pizza shop organized as a single-member limited liability company (LLC) in Florida with only three employees and $250,000 in annual revenue. The business owner’s CPA could easily determine that the business does not qualify for an exemption and may collect the necessary information and file the BOI report on behalf of the business. This would be well within the CPA’s capabilities and would not be considered UPL.

However, if a private equity firm engages a CPA to prepare the BOI reports for hundreds of portfolio companies operating in various industries, this requires substantial analysis and a deep understanding of the CTA and the associated regulations. If a nonlawyer CPA were to perform this analysis independently and file the BOI reports without consulting a legal professional, they could be deemed to be engaging in UPL.

Accordingly, nonlawyer professional service providers should engage a qualified legal professional to assist with the more complex nuances of the CTA and BOI reporting.

Key Takeaways

Nonlawyer professional service providers must be wary of inadvertently engaging in UPL. As the complexity of an engagement increases, it would be wise for these professionals to consult with an attorney to ensure they do not expose themselves and their clients to unnecessary risk by performing analyses and making determinations that require the requisite legal knowledge of a licensed attorney.

The consequences for nonlawyer professionals engaging in UPL extend not only to civil and criminal penalties but also damage to their professional reputations. Clients depend on their trusted advisors to guide them through complex problems, whether they be financial, legal, or a multitude of issues.

How FileForms Can Help

FileForms team of CPAs and attorneys mitigates professional service providers’ risk of engaging in UPL by employing tax and legal industry experts with the requisite knowledge to properly handle their Clients’ BOI reporting needs.

Whether these providers want to handle their clients’ BOI reports in-house or outsource their BOI function to FileForms team, solutions are available for every instance. For more information, please visit our website or contact us.

[1] The ABA Model Rules do not attempt to define the practice of law. MODEL RULES OF PROF’L CONDUCT R. 5.5 cmt. (2011) (“The definition of the practice of law is established by law and varies from one jurisdiction to another.”).

[2] See Gary G. Sackett, An Analytic Approach to Defining the “Practice of Law” Utah’s New Definition, UTAH B.J., Jan. 20, 2006, http://webster.utahbar.orgIbarjoumal/2006/01/ananalyticapproachtodefini.html (explaining that most legislatures, courts, bar associations, and committees’ attempts to define the practice of law are “circular because they define a concept in terms of the very term ‘law’ or its derivatives such as ‘lawyer’ and ‘legal.’).

[3] Melone, supra note 10, at 53; see also Ronald A. Landen, Comment, The Prospects of the Accountant-Lawyer Multidisciplinary Partnership in English-Speaking Countries, 13 EMORY INT’L L. REV. 763, 774-90 (1999) (providing descriptions of how various U.S. and international jurisdictions define the practice of law.

Beneficial Ownership Information Reporting

Frequently Asked Questions

FinCEN has prepared the following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) in response to inquiries received relating to the Beneficial Ownership Information Reporting Rule.

These FAQs are explanatory only and do not supplement or modify any obligations imposed by statute or regulation. Please refer to the Beneficial Ownership Information Reporting Rule, available at www.fincen.gov/boi, for details on specific provisions. FinCEN expects to publish additional guidance in the future. Questions may be submitted on FinCEN’s Contact web page.

PDF versions of the FAQs in English and other languages are available here.

A. General Questions

A. 1. What is beneficial ownership information?

A. 2. Why do companies have to report beneficial ownership information to the U.S. Department of the Treasury?

A. 3. Under the Corporate Transparency Act, who can access beneficial ownership information?

A. 4. How will companies become aware of the BOI reporting requirements?

B. Reporting Process

B. 1. Should my company report beneficial ownership information now?

B. 2. When do I need to report my company’s beneficial ownership information to FinCEN?

B. 3. When will FinCEN accept beneficial ownership information reports?

B. 4. Will there be a fee for submitting a beneficial ownership information report to FinCEN?

B. 5. How will I report my company’s beneficial ownership information?

B. 6. Where can I find the form to report?

B. 7. Is a reporting company required to use an attorney or a certified public accountant (CPA) to submit beneficial ownership information to FinCEN?

B. 8. Who can file a BOI report on behalf of a reporting company, and what information will be collected on filers?

C. Reporting Company

C. 1. What companies will be required to report beneficial ownership information to FinCEN?

C. 2. Are some companies exempt from the reporting requirement?

C. 3. Are certain corporate entities, such as statutory trusts, business trusts, or foundations, reporting companies?

C. 4. Is a trust considered a reporting company if it registers with a court of law for the purpose of establishing the court’s jurisdiction over any disputes involving the trust?

C. 5. Does the activity or revenue of a company determine whether it is a reporting company?

C. 6. Is a sole proprietorship a reporting company?

C. 7. Can a company created or registered in a U.S. territory be considered a reporting company?

D. Beneficial Owner

D. 1. Who is a beneficial owner of a reporting company?

D. 2. What is substantial control?

D. 3. One of the indicators of substantial control is that the individual is an important decision-maker. What are important decisions?

D. 4. What is an ownership interest?

D. 5. Who qualifies for an exception from the beneficial owner definition?

D. 6. Is my accountant or lawyer considered a beneficial owner?

D. 7. What information should a reporting company report about a beneficial owner who holds their ownership interests in the reporting company through multiple exempt entities?

D. 8. Is an unaffiliated company that provides a service to the reporting company by managing its day-to-day operations, but does not make decisions on important matters, a beneficial owner of the reporting company?

D. 9. Is a member of a reporting company’s board of directors always a beneficial owner of the reporting company?

D. 10. Is a reporting company’s designated “partnership representative” or “tax matters partner” a beneficial owner?

D. 11. What should a reporting company report if its ownership is in dispute?

D. 12. Who does a reporting company report as a beneficial owner if a corporate entity owns or controls 25 percent or more of the ownership interests of the reporting company?

E. Company Applicant

E. 1. Who is a company applicant of a reporting company?

E. 2. Which reporting companies are required to report company applicants?

E. 3. Is my accountant or lawyer considered a company applicant?

E. 4. Can a company applicant be removed from a BOI report if the company applicant no longer has a relationship with the reporting company?

E. 5. The company applicants of a reporting company include the individual “primarily responsible for directing the filing of the creation or registration document.” What makes an individual “primarily responsible” for directing such a filing?

E. 6. Is a third-party courier or delivery service employee who only delivers documents that create or register a reporting company a company applicant?

E. 7. If an individual used an automated incorporation service, such as through a website or online platform, to file the creation or registration document for a reporting company, who is the company applicant?

 

F. Reporting Requirements

F. 1. Will a reporting company need to report any other information in addition to information about its beneficial owners?

F. 2. What information will a reporting company have to report about itself?

F. 3. What information will a reporting company have to report about its beneficial owners?

F. 4. What information will a reporting company have to report about its company applicants?

F. 5. What are some acceptable forms of identification that will meet the reporting requirement?

F. 6. Is there a requirement to annually report beneficial ownership information?

F. 7. Does a reporting company have to report information about its parent or subsidiary companies?

F. 8. Can a reporting company report a P.O. box as its current address?

F. 9. Have I met FinCEN’s BOI reporting obligation if I filed a form or report that provides beneficial ownership information to a state office, a financial institution, or the IRS?

F. 10. If a beneficial owner or company applicant’s acceptable identification document does not include a photograph for religious reasons, will FinCEN accept the identification document without the photograph?

F. 11. What residential address should be reported if a reporting company is required to a report individual’s residential address, but that an individual does not have a permanent residential residence?

G. Initial Report

G. 1. When do I have to file an initial beneficial ownership information report with FinCEN?

G. 2. Can a parent company file a single BOI report on behalf of its group of companies?

G. 3. How can I obtain a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) for a new company quickly so that I can file an initial beneficial ownership information report on time?

G. 4. Should an initial BOI report include historical beneficial owners of a reporting company, or only beneficial owners as of the time of filing?

G. 5. How does a company created or registered after January 1, 2024, determine its date of creation or registration?

 

H. Updated Report

H. 1. What should I do if previously reported information changes?

H. 2. What are some likely triggers for needing to update a beneficial ownership information report?

H. 3. Is an updated BOI report required when the type of ownership interest a beneficial owner has in a reporting company changes?

H. 4. If a reporting company needs to update one piece of information on a BOI report, such as its legal name, does the reporting company have to fill out an entire new BOI report?

H. 5. Can a filer submit a late updated BOI report?

H. 6. If a reporting company last filed a “newly exempt entity” BOI report but subsequently loses its exempt status, what should it do?

 

I. Corrected Report

I. 1. What should I do if I learn of an inaccuracy in a report?

 

J. Newly Exempt Entity Report

J. 1. What should a reporting company do if it becomes exempt after already filing a report?

 

K. Compliance/Enforcement

K. 1. What happens if a reporting company does not report beneficial ownership information to FinCEN or fails to update or correct the information within the required timeframe?

K. 2. What penalties do individuals face for violating BOI reporting requirements?

K. 3. Who can be held liable for violating BOI reporting requirements?

K. 4. Is a reporting company responsible for ensuring the accuracy of the information that it reports to FinCEN, even if the reporting company obtains that information from another party?

K. 5. What should a reporting company do if a beneficial owner or company applicant withholds information?

L. Reporting Company Exemptions

L. 1. What are the criteria for the tax-exempt entity exemption from the beneficial ownership information reporting requirement?

L. 2. What are the criteria for the inactive entity exemption from the beneficial ownership information reporting requirement?

L. 3. What are the criteria for the subsidiary exemption from the beneficial ownership information reporting requirement?

L. 4. If I own a group of related companies, can I consolidate employees across those companies to meet the criteria of a large operating company exemption from the reporting company definition?

L. 5. How does a company report to FinCEN that the company is exempt?

L. 6. Does a subsidiary whose ownership interests are partially controlled by an exempt entity qualify for the subsidiary exemption?

 

M. FinCEN Identifier

M. 1. What is a FinCEN identifier?

M. 2. How can I use a FinCEN identifier?

M. 3. How do I request a FinCEN identifier?

M. 4. Are FinCEN identifiers required?

M. 5. Do I need to update or correct the information I submitted to obtain a FinCEN identifier?

M. 6. Is there any way to deactivate an individual’s FinCEN identifier that is no longer in use so that the individual no longer has to update the information associated with it?

M. 7. Who can request a FinCEN identifier on behalf of an individual?

N. Third-Party Service Providers

N. 1. Can a third-party service provider assist reporting companies by submitting required information to FinCEN on their behalf?

N. 2. What type of evidence will a reporting company receive as confirmation that its BOI report has been successfully filed by a third-party service provider?

N. 3. Will a third-party service provider be able to submit multiple BOI reports to FinCEN at the same time?

A. General Questions

A. 1. What is beneficial ownership information?

Beneficial ownership information refers to identifying information about the individuals who directly or indirectly own or control a company.

[Issued March 24, 2023]

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A. 2. Why do companies have to report beneficial ownership information to the U.S. Department of the Treasury?

In 2021, Congress passed the Corporate Transparency Act on a bipartisan basis. This law creates a new beneficial ownership information reporting requirement as part of the U.S. government’s efforts to make it harder for bad actors to hide or benefit from their ill-gotten gains through shell companies or other opaque ownership structures.

[Issued September 18, 2023]

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A. 3. Under the Corporate Transparency Act, who can access beneficial ownership information?

FinCEN will permit Federal, State, local, and Tribal officials, as well as certain foreign officials who submit a request through a U.S. Federal government agency, to obtain beneficial ownership information for authorized activities related to national security, intelligence, and law enforcement. Financial institutions will have access to beneficial ownership information in certain circumstances, with the consent of the reporting company. Those financial institutions’ regulators will also have access to beneficial ownership information when they supervise the financial institutions.

FinCEN published the rule that will govern access to and protection of beneficial ownership information on December 22, 2023. Beneficial ownership information reported to FinCEN will be stored in a secure, non-public database using rigorous information security methods and controls typically used in the Federal government to protect non-classified yet sensitive information systems at the highest security level. FinCEN will work closely with those authorized to access beneficial ownership information to ensure that they understand their roles and responsibilities in using the reported information only for authorized purposes and handling in a way that protects its security and confidentiality.

[Updated January 4, 2024]

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A. 4. How will companies become aware of the BOI reporting requirements?

FinCEN is engaged in a robust outreach and education campaign to raise awareness of and help reporting companies understand the new reporting requirements. That campaign involves virtual and in-person outreach events and comprehensive guidance in a variety of formats and languages, including multimedia content and the Small Entity Compliance Guide, as well as new channels of communication, including social media platforms. FinCEN is also engaging with governmental offices at the federal and state levels, small business and trade associations, and interest groups.

FinCEN will continue to provide guidance, information, and updates related to the BOI reporting requirements on its BOI webpage, www.fincen.gov/boi. Subscribe here to receive updates via email from FinCEN about BOI reporting obligations.

[Issued December 12, 2023]

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B. Reporting Process

B. 1. Should my company report beneficial ownership information now?

FinCEN launched the BOI E-Filing website for reporting beneficial ownership information (https://boiefiling.fincen.gov) on January 1, 2024.

  • A reporting company created or registered to do business before January 1, 2024, will have until January 1, 2025, to file its initial BOI report.
  • A reporting company created or registered in 2024 will have 90 calendar days to file after receiving actual or public notice that its creation or registration is effective.
  • A reporting company created or registered on or after January 1, 2025, will have 30 calendar days to file after receiving actual or public notice that its creation or registration is effective.

[Updated January 4, 2024]

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B. 2. When do I need to report my company’s beneficial ownership information to FinCEN?

A reporting company created or registered to do business before January 1, 2024, will have until January 1, 2025 to file its initial beneficial ownership information report.

A reporting company created or registered on or after January 1, 2024, and before January 1, 2025, will have 90 calendar days after receiving notice of the company’s creation or registration to file its initial BOI report. This 90-calendar day deadline runs from the time the company receives actual notice that its creation or registration is effective, or after a secretary of state or similar office first provides public notice of its creation or registration, whichever is earlier.

Reporting companies created or registered on or after January 1, 2025, will have 30 calendar days from actual or public notice that the company’s creation or registration is effective to file their initial BOI reports with FinCEN.

[Updated December 1, 2023]

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B. 3. When will FinCEN accept beneficial ownership information reports?

FinCEN will begin accepting beneficial ownership information reports on January 1, 2024. Beneficial ownership information reports will not be accepted before then.

[Issued March 24, 2023]

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B. 4. Will there be a fee for submitting a beneficial ownership information report to FinCEN?

No. There is no fee for submitting your beneficial ownership information report to FinCEN.

[Updated January 4, 2024]

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B. 5. How will I report my company’s beneficial ownership information?

If you are required to report your company’s beneficial ownership information to FinCEN, you will do so electronically through a secure filing system available via FinCEN’s BOI E-Filing website (https://boiefiling.fincen.gov).

[Updated January 4, 2024]

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B. 6. Where can I find the form to report?

Access the form by going to FinCEN’s BOI E-Filing website (https://boiefiling.fincen.gov) and select “File BOIR.”

[Updated January 4, 2024]

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B. 7. Is a reporting company required to use an attorney or a certified public accountant (CPA) to submit beneficial ownership information to FinCEN?

No. FinCEN expects that many, if not most, reporting companies will be able to submit their beneficial ownership information to FinCEN on their own using the guidance FinCEN has issued. Reporting companies that need help meeting their reporting obligations can consult with professional service providers such as lawyers or accountants.

[Issued November 16, 2023]

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B. 8. Who can file a BOI report on behalf of a reporting company, and what information will be collected on filers?

Anyone whom the reporting company authorizes to act on its behalf—such as an employee, owner, or third-party service provider—may file a BOI report on the reporting company’s behalf. When submitting the BOI report, individual filers should be prepared to provide basic contact information about themselves, including their name and email address or phone number.

[Issued December 12, 2023]

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C. Reporting Company

C. 1. What companies will be required to report beneficial ownership information to FinCEN?

Companies required to report are called reporting companies. There are two types of reporting companies:

  • Domestic reporting companies are corporations, limited liability companies, and any other entities created by the filing of a document with a secretary of state or any similar office in the United States.
  • Foreign reporting companies are entities (including corporations and limited liability companies) formed under the law of a foreign country that have registered to do business in the United States by the filing of a document with a secretary of state or any similar office.

There are 23 types of entities that are exempt from the reporting requirements (see Question C.2). Carefully review the qualifying criteria before concluding that your company is exempt.

FinCEN’s Small Entity Compliance Guide for beneficial ownership information reporting includes the following flowchart to help identify if a company is a reporting company (see Chapter 1.1, “Is my company a “reporting company”?”).

 

BOI RC Flow Chart[Issued September 18, 2023]

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C. 2. Are some companies exempt from the reporting requirement?

Yes, 23 types of entities are exempt from the beneficial ownership information reporting requirements. These entities include publicly traded companies meeting specified requirements, many nonprofits, and certain large operating companies.

The following table summarizes the 23 exemptions:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FinCEN’s Small Entity Compliance Guide includes this table and checklists for each of the 23 exemptions that may help determine whether a company meets an exemption (see Chapter 1.2, “Is my company exempt from the reporting requirements?”). Companies should carefully review the qualifying criteria before concluding that they are exempt. Please see additional FAQs about reporting company exemptions in “L. Reporting Company Exemptions” below.

[Issued September 18, 2023]

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C. 3. Are certain corporate entities, such as statutory trusts, business trusts, or foundations, reporting companies?

It depends. A domestic entity such as a statutory trust, business trust, or foundation is a reporting company only if it was created by the filing of a document with a secretary of state or similar office. Likewise, a foreign entity is a reporting company only if it filed a document with a secretary of state or a similar office to register to do business in the United States.

State laws vary on whether certain entity types, such as trusts, require the filing of a document with the secretary of state or similar office to be created or registered.

  • If a trust is created in a U.S. jurisdiction that requires such filing, then it is a reporting company, unless an exemption applies.

Similarly, not all states require foreign entities to register by filing a document with a secretary of state or a similar office to do business in the state.

  • However, if a foreign entity has to file a document with a secretary of state or a similar office to register to do business in a state, and does so, it is a reporting company, unless an exemption applies.

Entities should also consider if any exemptions to the reporting requirements apply to them. For example, a foundation may not be required to report beneficial ownership information to FinCEN if the foundation qualifies for the tax-exempt entity exemption.

Chapter 1 of FinCEN’s Small Entity Compliance Guide (“Does my company have to report its beneficial owners?”) may assist companies in identifying whether they need to report.

[Issued November 16, 2023]

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C. 4. Is a trust considered a reporting company if it registers with a court of law for the purpose of establishing the court’s jurisdiction over any disputes involving the trust?

No. The registration of a trust with a court of law merely to establish the court’s jurisdiction over any disputes involving the trust does not make the trust a reporting company.

[Issued November 16, 2023]

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C. 5. Does the activity or revenue of a company determine whether it is a reporting company?

Sometimes. A reporting company is (1) any corporation, limited liability company, or other similar entity that was created in the United States by the filing of a document with a secretary of state or similar office (in which case it is a domestic reporting company), or any legal entity that has been registered to do business in the United States by the filing of a document with a secretary of state or similar office (in which case it is a foreign reporting company), that (2) does not qualify for any of the exemptions provided under the Corporate Transparency Act. An entity’s activities and revenue, along with other factors in some cases, can qualify it for one of those exemptions. For example, there is an exemption for certain inactive entities, and another for any company that reported more than $5 million in gross receipts or sales in the previous year and satisfies other exemption criteria. Neither engaging solely in passive activities like holding rental properties, for example, nor being unprofitable necessarily exempts an entity from the BOI reporting requirements.

FinCEN’s Small Entity Compliance Guide provides additional information concerning exemptions in Chapter 1.2, “Is my company exempt from the reporting requirements?”

[Issued December 12, 2023]

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C. 6. Is a sole proprietorship a reporting company?

No, unless a sole proprietorship was created (or, if a foreign sole proprietorship, registered to do business) in the United States by filing a document with a secretary of state or similar office. An entity is a reporting company only if it was created (or, if a foreign company, registered to do business) in the United States by filing such a document. Filing a document with a government agency to obtain (1) an IRS employer identification number, (2) a fictitious business name, or (3) a professional or occupational license does not create a new entity, and therefore does not make a sole proprietorship filing such a document a reporting company.

[Issued December 12, 2023]

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C. 7. Can a company created or registered in a U.S. territory be considered a reporting company?

Yes. In addition to companies in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, a company that is created or registered to do business by the filing of a document with a U.S. territory’s secretary of state or similar office, and that does not qualify for any exemptions to the reporting requirements, is required to report beneficial ownership information to FinCEN. U.S. territories are the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

[Issued January 12, 2024]

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D. Beneficial Owner

D. 1. Who is a beneficial owner of a reporting company?

A beneficial owner is an individual who either directly or indirectly: (1) exercises substantial control (see Question D.2) over the reporting company, or (2) owns or controls at least 25% of the reporting company’s ownership interests (see Question D.4).

FinCEN’s Small Entity Compliance Guide provides checklists and examples that may assist in identifying beneficial owners (see Chapter 2.3 “What steps can I take to identify my company’s beneficial owners?”).

[Issued September 18, 2023]

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D. 2. What is substantial control?

An individual can exercise substantial control over a reporting company in four different ways. If the individual falls into any of the categories below, the individual is exercising substantial control:

  • The individual is a senior officer (the company’s president, chief financial officer, general counsel, chief executive office, chief operating officer, or any other officer who performs a similar function).
  • The individual has authority to appoint or remove certain officers or a majority of directors (or similar body) of the reporting company.
  • The individual is an important decision-maker for the reporting company. See Question D.3 for more information.
  • The individual has any other form of substantial control over the reporting company as explained further in FinCEN’s Small Entity Compliance Guide (see Chapter 2.1, “What is substantial control?”).

 

Substantial Control[Issued September 18, 2023]

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D. 3. One of the indicators of substantial control is that the individual is an important decision-maker. What are important decisions?

Important decisions include decisions about a reporting company’s business, finances, and structure. An individual that directs, determines, or has substantial influence over these important decisions exercises substantial control over a reporting company. Chapter 2.1, “What is substantial control?” of FinCEN’s Small Entity Compliance Guide provides the following information:

 

Important Decision Maker[Issued September 18, 2023]

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D. 4. What is an ownership interest?

An ownership interest is generally an arrangement that establishes ownership rights in the reporting company. Examples of ownership interests include shares of equity, stock, voting rights, or any other mechanism used to establish ownership.

 

Ownership Interests

Chapter 2.2, “What is ownership interest?” of FinCEN’s Small Entity Compliance Guide discusses ownership interests and sets out steps to assist in determining the percentage of ownership interests held by an individual.

[Issued September 18, 2023]

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D. 5. Who qualifies for an exception from the beneficial owner definition?

There are five instances in which an individual who would otherwise be a beneficial owner of a reporting company qualifies for an exception. In those cases, the reporting company does not have to report that individual as a beneficial owner to FinCEN.

FinCEN’s Small Entity Compliance Guide includes a checklist to help determine whether any exceptions apply to individuals who might otherwise qualify as beneficial owners (see Chapter 2.4. “Who qualifies for an exception from the beneficial owner definition?”).

[Issued September 18, 2023]

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D. 6. Is my accountant or lawyer considered a beneficial owner?

Accountants and lawyers generally do not qualify as beneficial owners, but that may depend on the work being performed.

Accountants and lawyers who provide general accounting or legal services are not considered beneficial owners because ordinary, arms-length advisory or other third-party professional services to a reporting company are not considered to be “substantial control” (see Question D.2). In addition, a lawyer or accountant who is designated as an agent of the reporting company may qualify for the “nominee, intermediary, custodian, or agent” exception from the beneficial owner definition.

However, an individual who holds the position of general counsel in a reporting company is a “senior officer” of that company and is therefore a beneficial owner. FinCEN’s Small Entity Compliance Guide includes a checklist to help determine whether an individual qualifies for an exception to the beneficial owner definition (see Chapter 2.4, “Who qualifies for an exception from the beneficial owner definition?”).

[Updated November 16, 2023]

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D. 7. What information should a reporting company report about a beneficial owner who holds their ownership interests in the reporting company through multiple exempt entities?

If a beneficial owner owns or controls their ownership interests in a reporting company exclusively through multiple exempt entities, then the names of all of those exempt entities may be reported to FinCEN instead of the individual beneficial owner’s information.

  • Note that this special rule does not apply when an individual owns or controls ownership interests in a reporting company through both exempt and non-exempt entities. In that case, the reporting company must report the individual as a beneficial owner (if no exception applies), but the exempt companies do not need to be listed.

FinCEN’s Small Entity Compliance Guide includes more information about this special reporting rule in Chapter 4.2, “What do I report if a special reporting rule applies to my company?”

[Issued September 29, 2023]

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D. 8. Is an unaffiliated company that provides a service to the reporting company by managing its day-to-day operations, but does not make decisions on important matters, a beneficial owner of the reporting company?

The unaffiliated company itself cannot be a beneficial owner of the reporting company because a beneficial owner must be an individual. Any individuals that exercise substantial control over the reporting company through the unaffiliated company must be reported as beneficial owners of the reporting company. However, individuals who do not direct, determine, or have substantial influence over important decisions made by the reporting company, and do not otherwise exercise substantial control, may not be beneficial owners of the reporting company.

Please see Chapter 2.1 of FinCEN’s Small Entity Compliance Guide, “What is substantial control?” for additional information on how to determine whether an individual has substantial control over a reporting company.

[Issued September 29, 2023]

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D. 9. Is a member of a reporting company’s board of directors always a beneficial owner of the reporting company?

No.  A beneficial owner of a company is any individual who, directly or indirectly, exercises substantial control over a reporting company, or who owns or controls at least 25 percent of the ownership interests of a reporting company.

Whether a particular director meets any of these criteria is a question that the reporting company must consider on a director-by-director basis.

FinCEN’s Small Entity Compliance Guide includes additional information on how to determine if an individual qualifies as a beneficial owner in Chapter 2, “Who is a beneficial owner of my company?”. This chapter includes separate sections with more information about substantial control and ownership interest: Chapter 2.1 “What is substantial control?” and Chapter 2.2 “What is ownership interest?”

[Issued September 29, 2023]

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D. 10. Is a reporting company’s designated “partnership representative” or “tax matters partner” a beneficial owner?

It depends. A reporting company’s “partnership representative,” as defined in 26 U.S.C. 6223, or “tax matters partner,” as the term was previously defined in now-repealed 26 U.S.C. 6231(a)(7), is not automatically a beneficial owner of the reporting company. However, such an individual may qualify as a beneficial owner of the reporting company if the individual exercises substantial control over the reporting company, or owns or controls at least 25 percent of the company’s ownership interests.

Chapter 2 of FinCEN’s Small Entity Compliance Guide (“Who is a beneficial owner of my company?”) has additional information on how to determine if an individual qualifies as a beneficial owner of a reporting company.

Note that a “partnership representative” or “tax matters partner” serving in the role of a designated agent of the reporting company may qualify for the “nominee, intermediary, custodian, or agent” exception from the beneficial owner definition.

FinCEN’s Small Entity Compliance Guide includes additional information on such exemptions in Chapter 2.4, “Who qualifies for an exception from the beneficial owner definition?”

[Issued November 16, 2023]

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D. 11. What should a reporting company report if its ownership is in dispute?

If ownership of a reporting company is the subject of active litigation and an initial BOI report has not been filed, a person authorized by the company to file its beneficial ownership information should comply with the requirements by reporting:

  • all individuals who exercise substantial control over the company, and
  • all individuals who own or control, or have a claim to ownership or control of, at least 25 percent ownership interests in the company.

If an initial BOI report has been filed, and if the resolution of the litigation leads to the reporting company having different beneficial owners from those reported (for example, because some individuals’ claims to ownership or control have been rejected), the reporting company must file an updated BOI report within 30 calendar days of resolution of the litigation.

[Issued January 12, 2024]

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D. 12. Who does a reporting company report as a beneficial owner if a corporate entity owns or controls 25 percent or more of the ownership interests of the reporting company?

Ordinarily, such a reporting company reports the individuals who indirectly either (1) exercise substantial control over the reporting company or (2) own or control at least 25 percent of the ownership interests in the reporting company through the corporate entity. It should not report the corporate entity that acts as an intermediate for the individuals.

For an example of how to calculate the percentage of ownership interests an individual owns or controls in a reporting company if the individual’s ownership interests are held through an intermediate entity, please review example 4 in Chapter 2.3, “What steps can I take to identify my company’s beneficial owners?” of FinCEN’s Small Entity Compliance Guide.

Two special rules create exceptions to this general rule in very specific circumstances:

  1. A reporting company may report the name(s) of an exempt entity or entities in lieu of an individual beneficial owner who owns or controls ownership interests in the reporting company entirely through ownership interests in the exempt entity or entities; or
  2. If the beneficial owners of the reporting company and the intermediate company are the same individuals, a reporting company may report the FinCEN identifier and full legal name of an intermediate company through which an individual is a beneficial owner of the reporting company.

FinCEN’s Small Entity Compliance Guide includes additional information about these special reporting rules (see Chapter 4.2, “What do I report if a special reporting rule applies to my company?”).

[Issued January 12, 2024]

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E. Company Applicant

E. 1. Who is a company applicant of a reporting company?

Only reporting companies created or registered on or after January 1, 2024, will need to report their company applicants.

A company that must report its company applicants will have only up to two individuals who could qualify as company applicants:

  1. The individual who directly files the document that creates or registers the company; and
  2. If more than one person is involved in the filing, the individual who is primarily responsible for directing or controlling the filing.

The following flowchart can help identify the company applicant.

 

Company App ef

In addition, Chapter 3.2, “Who is a company applicant of my company?” of FinCEN’s Small Entity Compliance Guide includes additional information to help identify company applicants.

[Issued September 18, 2023]

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E. 2. Which reporting companies are required to report company applicants?

Not all reporting companies have to report their company applicants to FinCEN.

A reporting company must report its company applicants only if it is either a:

  • Domestic reporting company created in the United States on or after January 1, 2024; or
  • Foreign reporting company first registered to do business in the United States on or after January 1, 2024.

A reporting company does not have to report its company applicants if it is either a:

  • Domestic reporting company created in the United States before January 1, 2024; or
  • Foreign reporting company first registered to do business in the United States before January 1, 2024.

Below is summary of the company applicant reporting requirement. Chapter 3.1, “Is my company required to report its company applicants?” of FinCEN’s Small Entity Compliance Guide includes additional information.

 

Reporting Requirement[Issued September 18, 2023]

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E. 3. Is my accountant or lawyer considered a company applicant?

An accountant or lawyer could be a company applicant, depending on their role in filing the document that creates or registers a reporting company. In many cases, company applicants may work for a business formation service or law firm.

An accountant or lawyer may be a company applicant if they directly filed the document that created or registered the reporting company. If more than one person is involved in the filing of the creation or registration document, an accountant or lawyer may be a company applicant if they are primarily responsible for directing or controlling the filing.

For example, an attorney at a law firm that offers business formation services may be primarily responsible for overseeing preparation and filing of a reporting company’s incorporation documents. A paralegal at the law firm may directly file the incorporation documents at the attorney’s request. Under those circumstances, the attorney and the paralegal are both company applicants for the reporting company.

[Issued September 18, 2023]

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E. 4. Can a company applicant be removed from a BOI report if the company applicant no longer has a relationship with the reporting company?

No. A company applicant may not be removed from a BOI report even if the company applicant no longer has a relationship with the reporting company. A reporting company created on or after January 1, 2024, is required to report company applicant information in its initial BOI report, but is not required to file an updated BOI report if information about a company applicant changes.

[Issued November 16, 2023]

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E. 5. The company applicants of a reporting company include the individual “primarily responsible for directing the filing of the creation or registration document.” What makes an individual “primarily responsible” for directing such a filing?

At most, two individuals need to be reported as company applicants:

  1. the person who directly files the document with a secretary of state or similar office, and
  2. if more than one person is involved in the filing of the document, the person who is primarily responsible for directing or controlling the filing.

For the purposes of determining who is a company applicant, it is not relevant who signs the creation or registration document, for example, as an incorporator. To determine who is primarily responsible for directing or controlling the filing of the document, consider who is responsible for making the decisions about the filing of the document, such as how the filing is managed, what content the document includes, and when and where the filing occurs. The following three scenarios provide examples.

Scenario 1: Consider an attorney who completes a company creation document using information provided by a client, and then sends the document to a corporate service provider for filing with a secretary of state. In this example:

  • The attorney is the company applicant who is primarily responsible for directing or controlling the filing because they prepared the creation document and directed the corporate service provider to file it.
  • The individual at the corporate service provider is the company applicant who directly filed the document with the secretary of state.

Scenario 2: If the attorney instructs a paralegal to complete the preparation of the creation document, rather than doing so themself, before directing the corporate service provider to file the document, the outcome remains the same: the attorney and the individual at the corporate service provider who files the document are company applicants. The paralegal is not a company applicant because the attorney played a greater role than the paralegal in making substantive decisions about the filing of the document.

Scenario 3: If the client who initiated the company creation directly asks the corporate service provider to file the document to create the company, then the client is primarily responsible for directing or controlling the filing, and the client should be reported as a company applicant, along with the individual at the corporate service provider who files the document.

[Issued January 12, 2024]

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E. 6. Is a third-party courier or delivery service employee who only delivers documents that create or register a reporting company a company applicant?

No. A third-party courier or delivery service employee who only delivers documents to a secretary of state or similar office is not a company applicant provided they meet one condition: the third-party courier, the delivery service employee, and any delivery service that employs them does not play any other role in the creation or registration of the reporting company.

When a third-party courier or delivery service employee is used solely for delivery, the individual (e.g., at a business formation service or law firm) who requested the third-party courier or delivery service to deliver the document will typically be a company applicant.

Under FinCEN’s regulations, an individual who “directly files the document” that creates or registers the reporting company is a company applicant. Third-party couriers or delivery service employees who deliver such documents facilitate the documents’ filing, but FinCEN does not consider them to be the filers of the documents given their only connection to the creation or registration of the reporting company is couriering the documents.

Rather, when a third-party courier or delivery service is used by a firm, the company applicant who “directly files” the creation or registration document is the individual at the firm who requests that the third-party courier or delivery service deliver the documents.

  • For example, an attorney at a law firm may be involved in the preparation of incorporation documents. The attorney directs a paralegal to file the documents. The paralegal may then request a third-party delivery service to deliver the incorporation documents to the secretary of state’s office. The paralegal is the company applicant who directly files the documents, even though the third-party delivery service delivered the documents on the paralegal’s behalf. The attorney at the law firm who was involved in the preparation of the incorporation documents and who directed the paralegal to file the documents will also be a company applicant because the attorney was primarily responsible for directing or controlling the filing of the documents.

In contrast, if a courier is employed by a business formation service, law firm, or other entity that plays a role in the creation or registration of the reporting company, such as drafting the relevant documents or compiling information to be submitted as part of the documents delivered, the conclusion is different. FinCEN considers such a courier to have directly filed the documents—and thus to be a company applicant—given the courier’s greater connection (via the courier’s employer) to the creation or registration of the company.

  • For example, a mailroom employee at a law firm may physically deliver the document that creates a reporting company at the direction of an attorney at the law firm who is primarily responsible for decisions related to the filing. Both individuals are company applicants.

[Issued January 12, 2024]

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E. 7. If an individual used an automated incorporation service, such as through a website or online platform, to file the creation or registration document for a reporting company, who is the company applicant?

If a business formation service only provides software, online tools, or generally applicable written guidance that are used to file a creation or registration document for a reporting company, and employees of the business service are not directly involved in the filing of the document, the employees of such services are not company applicants. For example, an individual may prepare and self-file documents to create the individual’s own reporting company through an automated incorporation service. In this case, this reporting company reports only that individual as a company applicant.

[Issued January 12, 2024]

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F. Reporting Requirements

F. 1. Will a reporting company need to report any other information in addition to information about its beneficial owners?

Yes. The information that needs to be reported, however, depends on when the company was created or registered.

  • If a reporting company is created or registered on or after January 1, 2024, the reporting company will need to report information about itself, its beneficial owners, and its company applicants.
  • If a reporting company was created or registered before January 1, 2024, the reporting company only needs to provide information about itself and its beneficial owners. The reporting company does not need to provide information about its company applicants.

[Issued March 24, 2023]

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F. 2. What information will a reporting company have to report about itself?

A reporting company will have to report:

  1. Its legal name;
  2. Any trade names, “doing business as” (d/b/a), or “trading as” (t/a) names;
  3. The current street address of its principal place of business if that address is in the United States (for example, a U.S. reporting company’s headquarters), or, for reporting companies whose principal place of business is outside the United States, the current address from which the company conducts business in the United States (for example, a foreign reporting company’s U.S. headquarters);
  4. Its jurisdiction of formation or registration; and
  5. Its Taxpayer Identification Number (or, if a foreign reporting company has not been issued a TIN, a tax identification number issued by a foreign jurisdiction and the name of the jurisdiction).

A reporting company will also have to indicate whether it is filing an initial report, or a correction or an update of a prior report.

FinCEN’s Small Entity Compliance Guide includes a checklist to help identify the information required to be reported (see Chapter 4.1, “What information should I collect about my company, its beneficial owners, and its company applicants?”).

[Issued September 18, 2023]

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F. 3. What information will a reporting company have to report about its beneficial owners?

For each individual who is a beneficial owner, a reporting company will have to provide:

  1. The individual’s name;
  2. Date of birth;
  3. Residential address; and
  4. An identifying number from an acceptable identification document such as a passport or U.S. driver’s license, and the name of the issuing state or jurisdiction of identification document (for examples of acceptable identification, see Question F.5).

The reporting company will also have to report an image of the identification document used to obtain the identifying number in item 4.

FinCEN’s Small Entity Compliance Guide includes a checklist to help identify the information required to be reported (see Chapter 4.1, “What information should I collect about my company, its beneficial owners, and its company applicants?”).

[Issued September 18, 2023]

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F. 4. What information will a reporting company have to report about its company applicants?

For each individual who is a company applicant, a reporting company will have to provide:

  1. The individual’s name;
  2. Date of birth;
  3. Address; and
  4. An identifying number from an acceptable identification document such as a passport or U.S. driver’s license, and the name of the issuing state or jurisdiction of identification document (for examples of acceptable identification, see Question F.5).

The reporting company will also have to report an image of the identification document used to obtain the identifying number in item 4.

If the company applicant works in corporate formation—for example, as an attorney or corporate formation agent—then the reporting company must report the company applicant’s business address. Otherwise, the reporting company must report the company applicant’s residential address.

FinCEN’s Small Entity Compliance Guide includes a checklist to help identify the information required to be reported (see Chapter 4.1, “What information should I collect about my company, its beneficial owners, and its company applicants?”).

[Issued September 18, 2023]

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F. 5. What are some acceptable forms of identification that will meet the reporting requirement?

The only acceptable forms of identification are:

  1. A non-expired U.S. driver’s license (including any driver’s licenses issued by a commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States);
  2. A non-expired identification document issued by a U.S. state or local government, or Indian Tribe;
  3. A non-expired passport issued by the U.S. government; or
  4. A non-expired passport issued by a foreign government (only when an individual does not have one of the other three forms of identification listed above).

[Issued September 18, 2023]

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F. 6. Is there a requirement to annually report beneficial ownership information?

No. There is no annual reporting requirement. Reporting companies must file an initial BOI report and updated or corrected BOI reports as needed.

FinCEN’s Small Entity Compliance Guide includes more information about when to file initial BOI reports in Chapter 5.1, “When should my company file its initial BOI report?” and when to file updated and corrected BOI reports in Chapter 6, “What if there are changes to or inaccuracies in reported information?”

[Issued November 16, 2023]

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F. 7. Does a reporting company have to report information about its parent or subsidiary companies?

No, though if a special reporting rule applies, the reporting company may report a parent company’s name instead of beneficial ownership information. A reporting company usually must report information about itself, its beneficial owners, and, for reporting companies created or registered on or after January 1, 2024, its company applicants. However, under a special reporting rule, a reporting company may report a parent company’s name in lieu of information about its beneficial owners if its beneficial owners only hold their ownership interest in the reporting company through the parent company and the parent company is an exempt entity.

Chapter 4 of FinCEN’s Small Entity Compliance Guide (“What specific information does my company need to report?”) provides additional information on what must be reported to FinCEN. Chapter 4.2 (“What do I report if a special reporting rule applies to my company?”) specifically provides details on what information must be reported pursuant to special reporting rules.

[Issued December 12, 2023]

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F. 8. Can a reporting company report a P.O. box as its current address?

No. The reporting company address must be a U.S. street address and cannot be a P.O. box.

FinCEN’s Small Entity Compliance Guide includes additional information on what must be reported in Chapter 4, “What specific information does my company need to report?”

[Issued December 12, 2023]

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F. 9. Have I met FinCEN’s BOI reporting obligation if I filed a form or report that provides beneficial ownership information to a state office, a financial institution, or the IRS?

No. Reporting companies must report beneficial ownership information directly to FinCEN. Congress enacted a law, the Corporate Transparency Act, that requires the reporting of beneficial ownership information directly to FinCEN. State or local governments, financial institutions, and other federal agencies, such as the IRS, may separately require entities to report certain beneficial ownership information. However, by law, those requirements are not a substitute for reporting beneficial ownership information to FinCEN.

[Issued December 12, 2023]

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F. 10. If a beneficial owner or company applicant’s acceptable identification document does not include a photograph for religious reasons, will FinCEN accept the identification document without the photograph?

Yes. If a beneficial owner or company applicant’s identification document does not include a photograph for religious reasons, the reporting company may nonetheless submit an image of that identification document when submitting its report, as long as the identification document is one of the types of identification accepted by FinCEN, such as a non-expired State-issued identification document. Please see Question F.5 for a list of acceptable identification documents.

[Issued January 12, 2024]

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F. 11. What residential address should be reported if a reporting company is required to a report an individual’s residential address, but that individual does not have a permanent residential residence?

The residential address that is current at the time of filing should be reported to FinCEN. An updated report should be submitted within 30 calendar days if the address, or any other information previously reported, changes.

FinCEN’s Small Entity Compliance Guide includes additional information on what information must be reported in Chapter 4, “What specific information does my company need to report?” and what to do when previously reported information needs to be updated in Chapter 6.1 “What should I do if previously reported information changes?”

[Issued January 12, 2024]

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G. Initial Report

G. 1. When do I have to file an initial beneficial ownership information report with FinCEN?

If your company existed before January 1, 2024, it must file its initial beneficial ownership information report by January 1, 2025.

If your company was created or registered on or after January 1, 2024, and before January 1, 2025, then it must file its initial beneficial ownership information report within 90 calendar days after receiving actual or public notice that its creation or registration is effective. Specifically, this 90-calendar day deadline runs from the time the company receives actual notice that its creation or registration is effective, or after a secretary of state or similar office first provides public notice of its creation or registration, whichever is earlier.

If your company was created or registered on or after January 1, 2025, it must file its initial beneficial ownership information report within 30 calendar days after receiving actual or public notice that its creation or registration is effective. The following sets out the initial report timelines. .

BOI Reporting Filing Dates

 

Chapter 5.1 “When should my company file its initial BOI report?” of FinCEN’s Small Entity Compliance Guide has additional information about the reporting timelines.

[Updated December 1, 2023]

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G. 2. Can a parent company file a single BOI report on behalf of its group of companies?

No. Any company that meets the definition of a reporting company and is not exempt is required to file its own BOI report.

[Issued September 29, 2023]

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G. 3. How can I obtain a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) for a new company quickly so that I can file an initial beneficial ownership information report on time?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offers a free online application for an Employer Identification Number (EIN), a type of TIN, which is provided immediately upon submission of the application. For more information on TINs, see “Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TIN)” at IRS.gov (https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/taxpayer-identification-numbers-tin). For more information on Employer Identification Numbers and to access the EIN online application, see “Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) Online” at IRS.gov (https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/apply-for-an-employer-identification-number-ein-online).

A paper filing is required if a foreign person that does not have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) applies for an EIN. According to the IRS, receiving an EIN through this process could take six to eight weeks. If you are a foreign person that may need to obtain an EIN for a reporting company, we recommend applying early for an ITIN. Foreign reporting companies that are not subject to U.S. corporate income tax may report a foreign tax identification number and the name of the relevant jurisdiction instead of an EIN or TIN.

[Updated January 4, 2024]

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G. 4. Should an initial BOI report include historical beneficial owners of a reporting company, or only beneficial owners as of the time of filing?

An initial BOI report should only include the beneficial owners as of the time of the filing. Reporting companies should notify FinCEN of changes to beneficial owners and related BOI through updated reports.

FinCEN’s Small Entity Compliance Guide includes more information about when to file updated or corrected BOI reports in Chapter 6, “What if there are changes to or inaccuracies in reported information?”

[Issued November 16, 2023]

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G. 5. How does a company created or registered after January 1, 2024, determine its date of creation or registration?

The date of creation or registration for a reporting company is the earlier of the date on which: (1) the reporting company receives actual notice that its creation (or registration) has become effective; or (2) a secretary of state or similar office first provides public notice, such as through a publicly accessible registry, that the domestic reporting company has been created or the foreign reporting company has been registered.

FinCEN recognizes that there are varying state filing practices. In certain states, automated systems provide notice of creation or registration to newly created or registered companies. In other states, no actual notice of creation or registration is provided, and newly created companies receive notice through the public posting of state records. FinCEN believes that individuals who create or register reporting companies will likely stay apprised of creation or registration notices or publications, given those individuals’ interest in establishing an operating business or engaging in the activity for which the reporting company is created.

[Issued December 12, 2023]

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H. Updated Report

H. 1. What should I do if previously reported information changes?

If there is any change to the required information about your company or its beneficial owners in a beneficial ownership information report that your company filed, your company must file an updated report no later than 30 days after the date of the change.

A reporting company is not required to file an updated report for any changes to previously reported information about a company applicant.

The following infographic sets out updated reports timelines.

 

Updated Reports

Chapter 6.1, “What should I do if previously reported information changes?” of FinCEN’s Small Entity Compliance Guide provides additional information.

[Issued September 18, 2023]

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H. 2. What are some likely triggers for needing to update a beneficial ownership information report?

The following are some examples of the changes that would require an updated beneficial ownership information report:

  • Any change to the information reported for the reporting company, such as registering a new business name.
  • A change in beneficial owners, such as a new CEO, or a sale that changes who meets the ownership interest threshold of 25 percent (see Question D.4 for more information about ownership interests).
  • Any change to a beneficial owner’s name, address, or unique identifying number previously provided to FinCEN. If a beneficial owner obtained a new driver’s license or other identifying document that includes a changed name, address, or identifying number, the reporting company also would have to file an updated beneficial ownership information report with FinCEN, including an image of the new identifying document.

FinCEN’s Small Entity Compliance Guide provides additional guidance on triggers requiring an updated beneficial ownership information report (see Chapter 6.1 “What should I do if previously reported information changes?”).

[Issued September 18, 2023]

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H. 3. Is an updated BOI report required when the type of ownership interest a beneficial owner has in a reporting company changes?

No. A change to the type of ownership interest a beneficial owner has in a reporting company—for example, a conversion of preferred shares to common stock—does not require the reporting company to file an updated BOI report because FinCEN does not require companies to report the type of interest. Updated BOI reports are required when information reported to FinCEN about the reporting company or its beneficial owners changes.

FinCEN’s Small Entity Compliance Guide includes additional information on when and how reporting companies must update information in Chapter 6, “What if there are changes to or inaccuracies in reported information?”

[Issued December 12, 2023]

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H. 4. If a reporting company needs to update one piece of information on a BOI report, such as its legal name, does the reporting company have to fill out an entire new BOI report?

Updated BOI reports will require all fields to be submitted, including the updated pieces of information. For example, if a reporting company changes its legal name, the reporting company will need to file an updated BOI report to include the new legal name and the previously reported, unchanged information about the company, its beneficial owners, and, if required, its company applicants.

A reporting company that filed its prior BOI report using the fillable PDF version may update its saved copy and resubmit to FinCEN. If a reporting company used FinCEN’s web-based application to submit the previous BOI report, it will need to submit a new report in its entirety by either accessing FinCEN’s web-based application to complete and file the BOI report, or by using the PDF option to complete the BOI report and upload to the BOI e-Filing application.

[Issued December 12, 2023]

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H. 5. Can a filer submit a late updated BOI report?

An updated BOI report can be submitted to FinCEN at any time. However, the reporting company is responsible for ensuring that updates are filed within 30 days of a change occurring. If a reporting company has engaged a third-party service provider to file BOI reports and updates on its behalf, then it should communicate any changes to its beneficial ownership information to the third-party service provider with enough time to meet the 30-day deadline.

[Issued December 12, 2023]

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H. 6. If a reporting company last filed a “newly exempt entity” BOI report but subsequently loses its exempt status, what should it do?

A reporting company should file an updated BOI report with FinCEN with the company’s current beneficial ownership information when it determines it no longer qualifies for an exemption.

[Issued December 12, 2023]

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I. Corrected Report

I. 1. What should I do if I learn of an inaccuracy in a report?

If a beneficial ownership information report is inaccurate, your company must correct it no later than 30 days after the date your company became aware of the inaccuracy or had reason to know of it. This includes any inaccuracy in the required information provided about your company, its beneficial owners, or its company applicants. The following infographic sets out the corrected report timelines.

 

Corrected Reports

Chapter 6.2, “What should I do if I learn of an inaccuracy in a report?” of FinCEN’s Small Entity Compliance Guide includes additional information about correcting inaccurate beneficial ownership information reports filed with FinCEN.

[Updated September 29, 2023]

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J. Newly Exempt Entity Report

J. 1. What should a reporting company do if it becomes exempt after already filing a report?

If a reporting company filed a beneficial ownership information report but then becomes exempt from filing the report, the company should file an updated report indicating that it is no longer a reporting company. An updated BOI report for a newly exempt entity will only require that: (1) the entity identify itself; and (2) check a box noting its newly exempt status. Chapter 6.3, “What should my company do if it becomes exempt after already filing a report?” of FinCEN’s Small Entity Compliance Guide includes more information.

[Issued September 18, 2023]

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K. Compliance/Enforcement

K. 1. What happens if a reporting company does not report beneficial ownership information to FinCEN or fails to update or correct the information within the required timeframe?

FinCEN is working hard to ensure that reporting companies are aware of their obligations to report, update, and correct beneficial ownership information. FinCEN understands this is a new requirement. If you correct a mistake or omission within 90 days of the deadline for the original report, you may avoid being penalized. However, you could face civil and criminal penalties if you disregard your beneficial ownership information reporting obligations.

FinCEN’s Small Entity Compliance Guide provides more information about enforcement of the requirement (see Chapter 1.3, “What happens if my company does not report BOI in the required timeframe?”).

[Issued September 18, 2023]

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K. 2. What penalties do individuals face for violating BOI reporting requirements?

As specified in the Corporate Transparency Act, a person who willfully violates the BOI reporting requirements may be subject to civil penalties of up to $500 for each day that the violation continues. That person may also be subject to criminal penalties of up to two years imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000. Potential violations include willfully failing to file a beneficial ownership information report, willfully filing false beneficial ownership information, or willfully failing to correct or update previously reported beneficial ownership information.

[Issued December 12, 2023]

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K. 3. Who can be held liable for violating BOI reporting requirements?

Both individuals and corporate entities can be held liable for willful violations. This can include not only an individual who actually files (or attempts to file) false information with FinCEN, but also anyone who willfully provides the filer with false information to report. Both individuals and corporate entities may also be liable for willfully failing to report complete or updated beneficial ownership information; in such circumstances, individuals can be held liable if they either cause the failure or are a senior officer at the company at the time of the failure.

  • i. Can an individual who files a report on behalf of a reporting company be held liable?
  • Yes. An individual who willfully files a false or fraudulent beneficial ownership information report on a company’s behalf may be subject to the same civil and criminal penalties as the reporting company and its senior officers.
  • ii. Can a beneficial owner or company applicant be held liable for refusing to provide required information to a reporting company?
  • Yes. As described above, an enforcement action can be brought against an individual who willfully causes a reporting company’s failure to submit complete or updated beneficial ownership information to FinCEN. This would include a beneficial owner or company applicant who willfully fails to provide required information to a reporting company.

[Issued December 12, 2023]

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K. 4. Is a reporting company responsible for ensuring the accuracy of the information that it reports to FinCEN, even if the reporting company obtains that information from another party?

Yes. It is the responsibility of the reporting company to identify its beneficial owners and company applicants, and to report those individuals to FinCEN. At the time the filing is made, each reporting company is required to certify that its report or application is true, correct, and complete. Accordingly, FinCEN expects that reporting companies will take care to verify the information they receive from their beneficial owners and company applicants before reporting it to FinCEN.

[Issued December 12, 2023]

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K. 5. What should a reporting company do if a beneficial owner or company applicant withholds information?

While FinCEN recognizes that much of the information required to be reported about beneficial owners and company applicants will be provided to reporting companies by those individuals, reporting companies are responsible for ensuring that they submit complete and accurate beneficial ownership information to FinCEN. Starting January 1, 2024, reporting companies will have a legal requirement to report beneficial ownership information to FinCEN.

Existing reporting companies should engage with their beneficial owners to advise them of this requirement, obtain required information, and revise or consider putting in place mechanisms to ensure that beneficial owners will keep reporting companies apprised of changes in reported information, if necessary. Beneficial owners and company applicants should also be aware that they may face penalties if they willfully cause a reporting company to fail to report complete or updated beneficial ownership information.

Persons considering creating or registering legal entities that will be reporting companies should take steps to ensure that they have access to the beneficial ownership information required to be reported to FinCEN, and that they have mechanisms in place to ensure that the reporting company is kept apprised of changes in that information.

[Issued December 12, 2023]

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L. Reporting Company Exemptions

L. 1. What are the criteria for the tax-exempt entity exemption from the beneficial ownership information reporting requirement?

An entity qualifies for the tax-exempt entity exemption if any of the following four criteria apply:

FinCEN’s Small Entity Compliance Guide includes checklists for this exemption (see exemption #19) and for the additional exemptions to the reporting requirements (see Chapter 1.2, “Is my company exempt from the reporting requirements?”).

[Issued September 18, 2023]

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L. 2. What are the criteria for the inactive entity exemption from the beneficial ownership information reporting requirement?

An entity qualifies for the inactive entity exemption if all six of the following criteria apply:

FinCEN’s Small Entity Compliance Guide includes checklists for this exemption (see exemption #23) and for the additional exemptions to the reporting requirements (see Chapter 1.2, “Is my company exempt from the reporting requirements?”).

[Issued September 18, 2023]

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L. 3. What are the criteria for the subsidiary exemption from the beneficial ownership information reporting requirement?

Subsidiaries of certain types of entities that are exempt from the beneficial ownership information reporting requirements may also be exempt from the reporting requirement.

An entity qualifies for the subsidiary exemption if the following applies:

The entity’s ownership interests are controlled or wholly owned, directly or indirectly, by any of these types of exempt entities:

  • Securities reporting issuer;
  • Governmental authority;
  • Bank;
  • Credit union;
  • Depository institution holding company;
  • Broker or dealer in securities;
  • Securities exchange or clearing agency;
  • Other Exchange Act registered entity;
  • Investment company or investment adviser;
  • Venture capital fund adviser;
  • Insurance company;
  • State-licensed insurance producer;
  • Commodity Exchange Act registered entity;
  • Accounting firm;
  • Public utility;
  • Financial market utility;
  • Tax-exempt entity; or
  • Large operating company.

FinCEN’s Small Entity Compliance Guide includes definitions of the exempt entities listed above and a checklist for this exemption (see exemption #22). FinCEN’s Guide also includes checklists for the additional exemptions to the reporting requirements (see Chapter 1.2, “Is my company exempt from the reporting requirements?”).

[Issued September 18, 2023]

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L. 4. If I own a group of related companies, can I consolidate employees across those companies to meet the criteria of a large operating company exemption from the reporting company definition?

No. The large operating company exemption requires that the entity itself employ more than 20 full-time employees in the United States and does not permit consolidation of this employee count across multiple entities.

FinCEN’s Small Entity Compliance Guide includes a checklist for this exemption (see exemption #21).

[Issued November 16, 2023]

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L. 5. How does a company report to FinCEN that the company is exempt?

A company does not need to report to FinCEN that it is exempt from the BOI reporting requirements if it has always been exempt.

If a company filed a BOI report and later qualifies for an exemption, that company should file an updated BOI report to indicate that it is newly exempt from the reporting requirements. Updated BOI reports are filed electronically though the secure filing system. An updated BOI report for a newly exempt entity will only require that the entity: (1) identify itself; and (2) check a box noting its newly exempt status.

[Issued November 16, 2023]

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L. 6. Does a subsidiary whose ownership interests are partially controlled by an exempt entity qualify for the subsidiary exemption?

No. If an exempt entity controls some but not all of the ownership interests of the subsidiary, the subsidiary does not qualify. To qualify, a subsidiary’s ownership interests must be fully, 100 percent owned or controlled by an exempt entity.

A subsidiary whose ownership interests are controlled or wholly owned, directly or indirectly, by certain exempt entities is exempt from the BOI reporting requirements. In this context, control of ownership interests means that the exempt entity entirely controls all of the ownership interests in the reporting company, in the same way that an exempt entity must wholly own all of a subsidiary’s ownership interests for the exemption to apply.

[Issued January 12, 2024]

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M. FinCEN Identifier

M. 1. What is a FinCEN identifier?

A “FinCEN identifier” is a unique identifying number that FinCEN will issue to an individual or reporting company upon request after the individual or reporting company provides certain information to FinCEN. An individual or reporting company may only receive one FinCEN identifier.

FinCEN’s Small Entity Compliance Guide includes additional information on FinCEN identifiers in Chapter 4.3, “What is a FinCEN identifier and how can I use it?”

[Issued September 29, 2023]

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M. 2. How can I use a FinCEN identifier?

When a beneficial owner or company applicant has obtained a FinCEN identifier, reporting companies may report the FinCEN identifier of that individual in the place of that individual’s otherwise required personal information on a beneficial ownership information report.

A reporting company may report another entity’s FinCEN identifier and full legal name in place of information about its beneficial owners when three conditions are met: (1) the other entity obtains a FinCEN identifier and provides it to the reporting company; (2) the beneficial owners hold interests in the reporting company through ownership interests in the other entity; and (3) the beneficial owners of the reporting company and the other entity are the exact same individuals.

[Updated January 12, 2024]

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M. 3. How do I request a FinCEN identifier?

Individuals may request a FinCEN identifier starting January 1, 2024, by completing an electronic web form at https://fincenid.fincen.gov. Individuals will need to provide their full legal name, date of birth, address, unique identifying number and issuing jurisdiction from an acceptable identification document, and an image of the identification document. After an individual submits this information, they will immediately receive a unique FinCEN identifier.

Reporting companies may request a FinCEN identifier by checking a box on the beneficial ownership information report upon submission. After the reporting company submits the report, the company will immediately receive a unique FinCEN identifier. If a reporting company wishes to request a FinCEN identifier after submitting its initial beneficial ownership report, it may submit an updated beneficial ownership information report requesting a FinCEN identifier, even if the company does not otherwise need to update its information.

[Updated January 4, 2024]

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M. 4. Are FinCEN identifiers required?

No. An individual or reporting company is not required to obtain a FinCEN identifier.

[Issued September 29, 2023]

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M. 5. Do I need to update or correct the information I submitted to obtain a FinCEN identifier?

Yes. Individuals must update or correct information through the FinCEN identifier application that is also used to request a FinCEN identifier.

  • Individuals must report any change to the information they submitted to obtain a FinCEN identifier no later than 30 days after the date on which the change occurred.
  • If there is any inaccuracy in this information, an individual must correct the information no later than 30 days after the date the individual became aware of the inaccuracy or had reason to know of it.

Reporting companies with a FinCEN identifier must update or correct the company’s information by filing an updated or corrected beneficial ownership information report, as appropriate.

[Issued September 29, 2023]

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M. 6. Is there any way to deactivate an individual’s FinCEN identifier that is no longer in use so that the individual no longer has to update the information associated with it?

FinCEN is actively assessing options to allow individuals to deactivate a FinCEN identifier so that they do not need to update the underlying personal information on an ongoing basis. FinCEN will provide additional guidance on this functionality upon completion of that process.

[Issued September 29, 2023]

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M. 7. Who can request a FinCEN identifier on behalf of an individual?

Anyone authorized to act on behalf of an individual may request a FinCEN identifier on the individual’s behalf on or after January 1, 2024.

FinCEN identifiers for individuals are provided upon request after the requesting party has submitted the necessary information. Obtaining a FinCEN identifier for an individual requires the requesting party to create a Login.gov account, which is tied to the individual receiving the FinCEN identifier. Individuals who receive a FinCEN identifier should ensure their login credentials, including email address and related multi-factor information associated with their Login.gov account, are saved for future reference.

FinCEN’s Small Entity Compliance Guide includes additional information on the FinCEN identifier in Chapter 4.3 “What is a FinCEN identifier and how can I use it?”

[Issued December 12, 2023]

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N. Third-Party Service Providers

N. 1. Can a third-party service provider assist reporting companies by submitting required information to FinCEN on their behalf?

Yes. Reporting companies may use third-party service providers to submit beneficial ownership information reports. Third-party service providers will have the ability to submit the reports via FinCEN’s BOI E-Filing website or an Application Programming Interface (API). To request the API technical specifications, use FinCEN’s contact form (https://www.fincen.gov/contact). Please do the following when submitting your inquiry: (1) select the topic associated with Beneficial Ownership (BO) / Corporate Transparency Act (CTA); (2) select the subject associated with API requests; (3) in the message body, indicate the nature of your API-related inquiry (e.g., “I would like to review the API technical specifications,” “I would like to request access to the API,” etc.).

[Updated January 4, 2024]

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N. 2. What type of evidence will a reporting company receive as confirmation that its BOI report has been successfully filed by a third-party service provider?

The BOI E-Filing application, available beginning January 1, 2024, provides acknowledgement of submission success or failure, and the submitter will be able to download a transcript of the BOI report. The reporting company will need to obtain this confirmation from the third-party service provider.

[Issued December 12, 2023]

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N. 3. Will a third-party service provider be able to submit multiple BOI reports to FinCEN at the same time?

Yes. Third-party service providers will be able to submit multiple BOI reports through an Application Programming Interface (API).

[Issued December 12, 2023]

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Census Bureau Releases Nonemployee Business Data by Demographic Characteristics of Owners

Author: US Census Bureau Staff  Published: 2/9/2024  U.S. Census Bureau

United States Census Bureau

Women owned 41.1% (11.2 million) and minorities owned 36.7% (10 million) of the nation’s nonemployee businesses (those without paid employees) and had $307.9 billion and $345.1 billion, respectively, in receipts in 2020, according to the new Nonemployer Statistics by Demographics (NES-D) released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. There were a total of 27.2 million nonemployees businesses with $1.3 trillion in receipts in 2020.

In addition to demographic characteristics of nonemployee business owners, this release also includes data by urban and rural classification, receipt size of firm, and legal form of organization (e.g., sole proprietorships and partnerships).

NES-D

The NES-D is an annual statistical series that uses existing administrative records and census data to link demographic characteristics of owners to the universe of nonemployer businesses. Nonemployer businesses are those without paid employees and are subject to federal income tax, with receipts of $1,000 or more.

Continue reading to explore highlights for nonemployer businesses in 2020.

Read More

Help us spread the word about Census Bureau data!

Share this on social media or forward it to a friend.

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About the Census Bureau

We serve as the nation’s leading provider of quality data about its people and economy. The Census Bureau is the federal government’s largest statistical agency. As the world’s premier statistical agency, we are dedicated to making our nation a better place. Policy-makers, businesses, and the public use our data to make informed decisions.

Resources for Media

For media interviews, please contact the Public Information Office Toll Free at 877-861-2010, 301-763-3030, or pio@census.gov.

 

Data.census.gov Newsletter – March 2024

Author: US Census  Bureau Staff   Published: 3/2/2024  U.S. Census Bureau 

Data.census.gov Newsletter – March 2024

Video Tutorials: 2020 Island Areas Censuses Cross-Tabulation Data

What’s New?

In February, the U.S. Census Bureau released the 2020 Island Areas Censuses Detailed Cross-Tabulations data on data.census.gov for American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. If you didn’t catch this release, check out the press kit and learn more below.

We’re excited to share some enhancements we made in February to improve your experience on data.census.gov:

  • The addition of the new “Apps” tab: Located at the top of the screen, this feature provides convenient access to special applications developed for data.census.gov, such as Pop Story and the Microdata Access Tool. This tab allows you to access these applications all in one convenient location.
  • A new “Edit” button for mapping titles: With this new feature, you can now create custom map titles based on your own map description. Users will have the flexibility to tailor the title to best suit the content and purpose of their map.
  • Positive and negative values available on maps: Experience better data precision with our latest enhancement, which seamlessly showcases both positive and negative data values on your maps.
  • New “Icons” available in suggested single search: Users will also notice the addition of the new icons added to the suggested search terms in the single search bar. These icons provide more context to indicate whether the suggested phrase is a geography, code, survey, topic, year, or table.
  • Fixes to 12 defects, including the following:
    • Now you can scroll through all options after clicking the “More Tools” button at the top of the table or map.
    • Click seamlessly between the “Codes” and “Year” buttons at the top of the table.
    • Find access controls on the right side of the table to adjust the columns, pivot, and cell notes.
Learn More

February Releases

February 8, 2024

February 15, 2024

February 22, 2024

February 27, 2024

Featured Video Tutorials

Accessing 2020 Island Areas Censuses Cross-Tabulation Data

Faith Whittington speaks about accessing 2020 Island Areas Censuses Cross-Tabulation Data.

Learn how to access data from the 2020 Island Areas Censuses Detailed Cross-Tabulations on data.census.gov for American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These data tables cross-tabulate characteristic data about people or housing units for each island and their respective county equivalents.

Locating 2020 and 2010 Island Areas Censuses Detailed Cross-Tabulation Data

Maria Valdisera speaks about locating 2020 and 2010 Island Areas Censuses Detailed Cross-Tabulation Data.

In this tutorial, we cover changes from what was provided in 2010 when data were only available for the island areas and not their county equivalents.

More Videos

Recorded Webinars

Catch up on data.census.gov webinars you may have missed in January or February.

January Webinar Recording
data.census.gov News and Updates: January 2024

February Webinar Recording
Diving into Island Areas Cross Tabulations on data.census.gov

March Workshops

These participatory workshops will guide you through practical examples, unveiling the fundamentals of navigating data.census.gov to find demographic and economic data.

Featured Question

How can I access 2020 Census data on data.census.gov?

The Census Bureau released a variety of types of data tables from the 2020 Census. Follow these tips to get started:

Select “Advanced Search.”

Open the filter panel.

Select 2020 under the “Years.”

Select one of the Decennial Census options under the “Surveys” heading:

  • Decennial Census (covers the 50 states, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico)
  • Decennial Census of Island Areas (covers American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands)

Select a product. If you are not sure which product to start with, we recommend checking out the Demographic Profile or Demographic and Housing Characteristics. To learn more about the different types of tables available from the 2020 Census, visit the About 2020 Census Data Products webpage.

Click Search in the lower right of the screen.

Click Tables at the top and view your results.

Learn More

New economic opportunity in Maryland

Author: Team Moore Staff    Published: 2/28/2024    Governor Wes Moore

Wes Moore for Maryland

Friend,

Every Marylander deserves to do more than just survive. They deserve to thrive, not just themselves, but their families and neighborhoods as well.

To do that, that requires us to invest in Marylanders — and bring more opportunities to our state.

Wes is working to do just that. Last week, Wes announced $10 million for small business grants. Not only will this allow more folks to start small businesses, but it’ll strengthen local economies by reinvigorating vast areas of the states.

The Governor also announced the Department of Commerce will create incentives to support almost 10,000 jobs in Maryland. These new incentives will retain current talent in the state, add new jobs, and provide resources for workforce training programs.

Economic opportunity should not only be accessible to a select few. No one knows this better than Wes, who understands firsthand the struggles many Maryland families face and has made creating economic opportunity the central mission driving his work as Governor. He believes that no matter where you start in life, you deserve an equal opportunity to succeed. 

With Wes’ leadership, we know we have a Governor who will fight to increase opportunities for economic growth for all.

Thank you for your support,

Team Moore

This message was sent to: info@positivechangepc.com.

Utility companies busted in huge dark money GOP plot

Author:  EA Staff Staff     Published: 2/27/2024   Evergreen Action via atAdvocacy News 

Evergreen Action is sounding the alarm, and they’ve produced a chilling in-depth documentary on the utility companies’ scheme to use your money to kill our clean energy future… all while lining their OWN pockets with record-breaking profits.

Watch it now!

Stop your utilities company from using YOUR money to fund anti-climate Republicans!

Hi Ronald,

We hate to break it to you, but your electric company is scheming with Republican extremists and right-wing billionaires to kill green energy and keep your power bills sky-high. To add insult to injury, they’re using YOUR money to do it!

Power bills are more expensive than ever before, and that’s because high fossil fuel prices are being passed on to you. Your utility company then takes that money and spends it on lobbying, funneling millions of dollars through PACs to Republican politicians who then work to kill climate regulations and throw roadblocks in the switch to green electricity.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, not only are utility companies using your money to sabotage the transition to cheaper, cleaner energy sources, they’re helping insurrectionists get re-elected. Utility-run PACs and trade associations have funneled nearly $7 million into the war chests of the Republicans who voted to overturn the 2020 election on Trump’s behalf.

 

 

Solar Renewable Energy Certificates

Author: SrecTrade Staff     Published: 2/27/2024     SrecTrade

SRECTrade, Inc. logo

Solar Renewable Energy Certificates

In SREC state markets, the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) requires electricity suppliers to secure a portion of their electricity from solar generators. The SREC program provides a means for Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) to be created for every megawatt-hour of solar electricity created.

The SREC is sold separately from the electricity and represents the “solar” aspect of the electricity that was produced. The value of an SREC is determined by the market subject to supply and demand constraints. SRECs can be sold to electricity suppliers needing to meet their solar RPS requirement. The market is typically capped by a fine or solar alternative compliance payment (SACP) paid by any electricity suppliers for every SREC they fall short of the requirement.

SREC FACTS

  • 1 SREC = 1 MWh of solar electricity
  • A 10 kW facility generates around 12 SRECs annually
  • SRECs are sold separately from the electricity
  • Value is determined by market supply and demand mechanics
  • Facilities must be certified by a state to sell SRECs
Map of the USA showing SREC states

Light blue key for map States with a solar carve-out and SREC market
Dark blue key for map States with no SREC market but have areas eligible for an outside SREC market

Get started selling SRECs with SRECTrade

Install your system icon

Install your system

SRECTrade works with many installation companies. You should be able to sign up for the EasyREC service through your installer. If not, you can sign up directly on www.srectrade.com

Sign up with SRECTrade icon

Sign up with SRECTrade

Sign up with SRECTrade and we handle all the complexities of getting set up with the required regulatory bodies so that you can start generating and selling SRECs as soon as possible!

Understand the timing icon

Understand the timing

Once setup, your system should create its first SRECs 2 months later (or within 6 months if you are in MA).

Life Cycle of an SREC

Generate ElectricityYour system generates electricity

Previous MonthYour previous month’s production is registered on SRECTrade (or PTS if you’re in MA)

RegistrySRECs are created and appear in your SRECTrade account automatically as they are issued by the registry

PaymentSRECTrade sells your SRECs and you are paid within 15 business days

Get Smart About Solar: Basics for Homeowners Considering Rooftop Panels

Author: Kayla Benjamin    Published: 2/27/2024  Washington Informer

Anytime someone rings your doorbell with a sales pitch, they should expect to be met with at least some level of healthy skepticism. That’s especially true if they’re selling something that involves potentially pricey upfront costs, complicated financing arrangements or long-term agreements. Rooftop solar panels often involve one or two of those.

The solar industry does have its share of bad actors. But there are also plenty of reputable solar businesses in the DMV that might send a sales rep to canvas in your neighborhood.

“Legit solar companies still do [door-to-door sales], especially if they’ve done an installation in the area recently — same way as real estate agents operate,” said James Clarke, portfolio manager for the D.C. Sustainable Energy Utility’s Solar for All program.

Moreover, Clarke said, solar energy technology has gotten far more efficient in recent decades, which means rooftop panels have become a good fit for a lot more homes and families’ budgets.

“An installation now can provide, based on the number of panels and the square footage of the roof, well over five kilowatts of power; the average home is using around 3.5 kilowatts,” he said. “So in general, because of the higher efficiency, you’re gonna see savings.”

So how can D.C.-area households — many of which could save big on electric bills with solar — tell the difference between a solid deal and a scam? The Informer spoke with Clarke and DCSEU Managing Director Ernest Jolly about the information homeowners should keep in mind.

Solar Finance Basics

The first piece of advice Jolly offered is something that goes for nearly any big purchase or financial agreement: make sure all the details are in writing, and read carefully before signing.

“What you can depend on is what can be enforced,” Jolly said. “Therefore, what is finally reduced to writing in a contract that homeowners or renters are asked to sign is what you can believe in.”

But reading over any contract about solar panel installation can be daunting and confusing. Understanding a few key terms can help with getting started.

  • Third-party solar ownership: When a company owns the solar panels, not the homeowner. This can be a good option for households that want to save money on electricity bills but can’t afford a major upfront cost to buy the panels directly, or don’t want to be responsible for maintenance of the panels. There are two common arrangements for third-party solar ownership:
    • Power Purchasing Agreement (PPA): The homeowner pays a third-party owner for the electricity produced by the panels on their roof. This works because the homeowner pays a lower rate than they’d pay the regular power utility.
    • Solar lease: The homeowner pays a third-party solar owner a set monthly amount regardless of the amount of energy used. Again, this works when the panels produce enough energy that the household saves more on electricity bills than they pay for the lease each month.
  • Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs): A credit that represents the environmental value of emissions-free energy produced. Whoever owns the solar panels earns one SREC for every 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) the panels produce. The dollar value of an SREC differs depending on where you live, and it can change dramatically over time. (D.C. has far and away the best market for SRECs in the country, with each credit being worth over $400 as of February 2024. In Maryland, they’re worth just under $60, and in Virginia around $30.)
  • Solar loan: Like a loan for any major home improvement project. Homeowners who want to own the solar panels installed on their roof but can’t afford the whole cost upfront can apply for a loan to pay for the panels over time, with interest.

What to Ask Someone Selling Solar

Both Jolly and Clarke recommended homeowners double check any salesperson’s credentials by searching online for the company or agency they say they’re from and calling the number on the website. That’s not just true for solar: Clarke, who previously worked at DC Water, said that scammers pretending to be from utility companies occasionally pop up across industries.

“I would always encourage people not to feel that it is inappropriate to ask for validation — and you don’t have to apologize,” Jolly said. “Give yourself emotional permission to do it. You’re being strong when you do that; you’re exercising your power when you do that.”

Jolly also recommends homeowners take their time deciding. Any sales pitch involving a time-sensitive deal or tight deadline is a big red flag.

Finally, homeowners can look to see if a solar company is on the D.C. Department of Energy and Environment’s list of approved solar installers or check whether they have been vetted by the renewable energy marketplace Energy Sage. (See below for more resources for trustworthy information.)

But just because a company is real doesn’t mean their product or plan is right for you. Here are a few questions to ask upfront:

  • Under this plan, who owns the solar panels and receives the SRECs and tax incentives?
  • Who would be responsible for maintaining the panels?
  • What brand of solar panels and batteries would be used? (Clarke suggests later looking up the brands they mention.)
  • If it’s a third-party ownership plan, what happens at the end of the lease or contract term? Can the homeowner buy the panels at the end of the agreement?
  • What happens with the panels if the house is sold to someone new?

Clarke also recommended some other steps for potential buyers to “do their due diligence,” including comparing prices by “getting multiple quotes, vetting multiple installers, and asking around about who’s worked with them before, what projects they’ve done.”

Trustworthy Resources for the Deeper Questions

There is an enormous amount of information online about rooftop solar. For most people, it’s overwhelming, and it can sometimes be difficult to tell which sites are trying to sell something. These three sources are solid. (As a bonus: the last two offer free opportunities to speak with experts and ask your questions to a real, live person.)

  • EnergySage Marketplace: This is a for-profit company, but it operates kind of like a “Consumer Reports” for solar. You can look at ratings for solar installers, see which ones have been independently vetted by EnergySage, and get cost estimates. The website also has a lot of great explainers about all aspects of household renewable energy, including a great 15-minute guide to solar panels.
  • Solar United Neighbors: This nonprofit began in D.C. as a solar co-op, a big group of neighbors who all agreed to get solar at the same time so that they could negotiate a better deal. SUN now helps facilitate solar co-ops in D.C. and around the country, as well as providing lots of informational guides. Three other free services SUN offers:
    • 15-minute phone consultations with a solar expert
    • Feedback on a solar installer’s proposal
    • Review of your home’s roof to see if it would be a good fit for panels

D.C. Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU): This organization is overseen by the D.C. Department of Energy and Environment. On the website or by phone, the DCSEU team can help District residents find out if they are eligible for Solar for All or other government programs and services (these include limited funds for roof repairs or electrical work to accommodate solar installations). They can also provide unbiased answers to questions about rooftop solar proposals.

THE FY24 RESIDENTIAL CLEAN ENERGY REBATE PROGRAM IS NOW OPEN AND ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS

Author: MEA Staff    Published: 2/26/2024 Maryland Energy Administration

FY24 Residential Clean Energy Rebate Program

Photo of solar panels on homes

Please note that MEA is processing rebates as quickly as possible. Due to unprecedented demand, processing times will be significantly delayed.

MEA is presently processing applications received in JANUARY 2024, as of February 22, 2024. MEA will update this information every ​Thursday until the application backlog is processed.

Program Purpose: The Residential Clean Energy Rebate Program provides an incentive for Maryland homeowners to purchase and install eligible renewable energy generating systems at their primary place of residence.

Program Description: MEA offers rebates to eligible Maryland homeowners who have installed a qualified clean energy system at their homes. Eligible system types include solar PV panels, solar shingles, solar hot water, geothermal heating and cooling systems. Please note that geothermal system replacements are no longer eligible​ for rebates.

Official rebate levels from the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) are copied below.

 

​Clean Energy Technology​ Eligible System Capacity Range Rebate Amount
Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Minimum 1 kW-DC $1,000
Solar Shingles Minimum 1 kW-DC $1,000
Solar Water Heating (SWH) Minimum 10 sq. ft. $500
Geothermal* Minimum 1 ton $3,000

​*The incentive is only for systems that include a new geothermal heat pump and new heat exchanger loop (e.g., well field).

Type of Program: The Residential Clean Energy Rebate Program is a statewide, non-competitive (first come, first-served) rebate program.​
Program Application Deadline: Applications are accepted July 13, 2023, through June 30, 2024; however, issuance of a rebate by MEA cannot be assured if the Program Budget has been exhausted.

Current Award Status: The status of applications that are currently under review by MEA is provided here:Weekly Status Report 2024.02.21​​​​​

Anticipated Program Budget: An anticipated total of $4,600,000 is available from the Strategic Energy Investment Fund to fund this program.

Regulations: Regulations governing the Residential Clean Energy Rebate Program (also known as the Clean Energy Grant Program) can be viewed here.

Program Documents:

Online Application Portal: >>> CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE ONLINE APPLICATION PORTAL​ <<<

NOTE: Beginning on September 1, 2023, applicants must use the most up-to-date version of the Residential Clean Energy Rebate Application Form (or e-Application Signature Sheet, if applying online). MEA will not accept outdated versions of the Residential Clean Energy Rebate Application Form (or e-Application Signature Sheet) on or after September 1, 2023. An applicant whose application that is rejected for this reason is free to re-apply using the current application form (or e-Application signature sheet).

Application Submission Guidance: Submission of applications through MEA’s online web portal is the preferred application process.   If you submit an application using the web portal, look for the “signature sheet” that will IMMEDIATELY be sent to your email address in response from no-reply@egov.com.  In order for your application to be considered complete, you must fill in your name, date, and social security number on this sheet, sign it, and mail it to MEA.  Without this signature sheet, MEA will not consider your application to be complete and will not process it.

To minimize rebate processing times, MEA developed a process that enables the electronic submission of Clean Energy Rebate Program “paper applications,” e-Application signature sheets “signature sheets”, and IRS Form W9s, via Virtru, the State of Maryland’s secure email encryption tool. If you are interested in this option, please send an email indicating your interest in doing so to cerp.mea@maryland.gov​​. Do not attach your application to this initial email. Please indicate your first and last name, your zip code, and your email address in the body of the email. Someone from MEA will then contact you with more information about how to submit your application via Virtru.  More information about Virtru can be found on the Maryland Department of Information Technology’s webpage at: https://doit.maryland.gov/support/Pages/email-encryption.aspx.
Historical Reviews:  MEA will no longer refer Residential Clean Energy Rebate Program projects to the Maryland Historical Trust for review; however, applicants must obtain permission for a project from all local historic preservation commissions with authority over the project, if required. MEA may deny an application if the project results in an adverse effect on a historic property.

For more information, contact MEA regarding the Residential Clean Energy Rebate Program by email at cerp.mea@maryland.gov or by phone at 410-537-4000 to speak with an MEA energy specialist.

Follow MEA on social media for updates: Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

Tell us about your experience with the Maryland Energy Administration. Click here 

Solar Snapshot: 🏘️☀️NCSP Summit Shines Light on Community Solar’s Potential; First Platinum SolSmart Community

Author: US DOE EERE  Staff    Published: 2/23/2024   

U.S. Department of Energy - Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Solar Energy Technologies Office

What’s Inside: Solar Snapshot, the newsletter of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO), shares recent announcementsdeadlinesupcoming eventsand more.

If someone forwarded this newsletter to you, you can subscribe here.

Reach out to us at solar@ee.doe.gov with any inquiries or suggestions.

Estimated read time: 5 minutes, 20 seconds

What’s New?

2024 National Community Solar Partnership (NCSP) Annual Summit

At the fourth annual NCSP Summit, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Jeff Marootian challenged the solar industry to triple community solar by the end of 2025. NCSP announced the goal in 2021 and estimated that powering 5 million households and deploying 20 gigawatts of community solar would create $1 billion in energy savings for subscribers.

Jeff Marootian at the 2024 NCSP Summit challenges the solar industry to triple community solar deployment in three years.

The Technical Potential and Meaningful Benefits of Community Solar

In a new report, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) estimates that if all technically viable community solar is deployed, it could serve more than 53 million households and over 300,000 businesses in the United States that cannot access rooftop solar. Register for a webinar about the report on February 28 at 3 p.m. ET.

New Model for Siting Community Solar 

NCSP announced a new model, developed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, that identifies the most cost-effective ways community solar and storage can be sited on the grid, with a focus on minimizing interconnection costs and maximizing deployment. DOE seeks utilities and electric public utility commissions to participate in the pilot program for the Least-Cost Optimal Distribution Grid Expansion (LODGE) model. For more information about the LODGE model and pilot program, register for a webinar on March 7 at 11 a.m. ET.

Join the New Equitable Solar Communities of Practice

NCSP announced the organizations chosen to lead five communities of practice that will work to identify resource gaps, support the development and dissemination of best practices and resources, and identify and propose new resources, tools, and technical assistance offerings needed to scale equitable solar. Interested in supporting the expansion of equitable benefits in solar adoption? Complete the program interest form today.

Upcoming Deadlines

Don’t forget to participate in these funding opportunities, prizes, and solicitations:

Some Light 🌞 Reading

Students from Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) Engage in Solar Research and Professional Development

Twenty students from SETO’s Solar Technology Research Program (STRP) with the MSI STEM Research and Development Consortium (MSRDC) participated in the first STRP Research Trainee Meeting at the University of the District of Columbia. Participants networked, explored career options, and engaged in groundbreaking research in solar technology and engineering.

msrdc event

Learn About Solar Systems Integration Research at SETO

Hear from members of SETO’s systems integration team in this new video as they explain the important research that they support to enable solar grid integration while ensuring the reliability, resilience, and security of the electric power system.

Learn About Solar Systems Integration Research at SETO

Hear from members of SETO’s systems integration team in this new video as they explain the important research that they support to enable solar grid integration while ensuring the reliability, resilience, and security of the electric power system.

Learn About Solar Systems Integration Research at SETO

Hear from members of SETO’s systems integration team in this new video as they explain the important research that they support to enable solar grid integration while ensuring the reliability, resilience, and security of the electric power system.

SETO’s systems integration research supports technologies and solutions that enable solar grid integration while ensuring the reliability, resilience, and security of the electric power system.

First-Ever SolSmart Platinum Designation

Fremont, California became the first local government to earn the SolSmart Platinum designation for prioritizing solar energy deployment, including adopting the Solar Automated Permit Processing+ (SolarAPP+) platform to automate residential solar permitting.

SolSmart Platinum

Making Solar Work for Everybody—Helping Envision a More Just Energy System

Solar energy deployment is rapidly expanding, creating opportunities for solar energy to benefit communities equitably. Find out more about some of the SETO-funded projects helping more communities benefit from solar energy.

New Prize Supports Early-Stage Community Energy Planning

DOE just launched the $5 million Solutions for Lasting, Viable Energy Infrastructure Technologies (SOLVE IT) Prize, which aims to support communities by providing financial support for identifying and planning innovative clean energy solutions. Apply by April 12.

Researchers Release Solar Power Data Software to Increase Clean Energy Generation

Researchers at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have published a software tool that sorts through data to reveal what goes on with solar panels on cloudy and sunny days.

Products & Publications

Upcoming Events

Supercritical CO2 (sCO2) Power Cycles Symposium

February 26-29 | San Antonio, TX
Join SETO’s Dr. Matt Bauer who will be presenting keynote remarks about sCO2 power cycles for concentrating solar-thermal power.

2024 PV Reliability Workshop

February 27-29 | Lakewood, CO
Participate in NREL’s annual PV Reliability Workshop where experts convene to discuss the latest findings in PV reliability. Submit your presentation and register to attend.

Webinar: Achieving Scale ­– Community Technical Potential and Meaningful Benefits in the United States

February 28 | 3 p.m. ET | Virtual
Register for NREL’s webinar about the new SETO-funded report, “Technical Potential and Meaningful Benefits of Community Solar in the United States.” Researchers will describe the methodology and results from this study on the technical potential of community solar and associated meaningful benefits.

Systems Integration Webinar

February 28 | 3 p.m. ET | Virtual
The SETO systems integration team’s monthly webinar will focus on the analysis of a new hybrid PV plant.

PV Circularity Workshop

March 3-6 | Lakewood, CO
The 2024 PV Circularity Workshop will foster research and collaboration on decarbonizing the global PV industry. Experts will convene at NREL to discuss how to increase the sustainability of this growing industry.

Webinar: Interconnection Resources for Utilities and Regulatory Commissions

March 7 | 11 a.m. ET | Virtual
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is hosting a webinar about the LODGE Model and the Interconnection Innovation e-Xchange (i2X) initiative, both of which are tools for improving interconnection and offering assistance throughout the process.

Virtual Tutorial Series: Open-source Tools & Open-access Solar Data

March 2024 | 3 p.m. ET | Virtual

Join SETO and NREL for their three-part tutorial series about open-source tools and open-access solar data.

  • Part 1: Introduction to the Solar Data Bounty Prize and Data Sets | March 13 – This session will include an introduction to the Solar Data Bounty Prize and the data sets acquired through the prize. It will include a demonstration on how to access the data and a look ahead at lab tools.
  • Part 2: Analytics and Quality Tools | March 19 – Some data obtained from the Solar Data Bounty Prize will be evaluated in demonstrations with PVAnalytics, RdTools, and solar data tools.
  • Part 3: Modeling Tools | March 21 – This session will demonstrate the use of data obtained from the Solar Data Bounty Prize with modeling tools like pvlib-python and the system advisor model (SAM).

In Case You Missed It

Webinar: Concentrating Solar Receivers and Reactors

 

 

Now available: millions in new apprenticeship grants

Author: US DOL Staff    Published: 2/22/2024   US Department of Labor

DOL Seal

Aerial view of three workers in safety gear checking stock within a large warehouse.

Nearly $200M in grants available to help expand Registered Apprenticeships

We’re making nearly $200 million in grants available to support efforts to create high-quality training pathways in key industries, Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su and White House Domestic Policy Advisor Neera Tanden announced this week. The funding includes $95 million through the Apprenticeship Building America Grant Program and $100 million in the second round of State Apprenticeship Expansion Formula grants.

“These grants serve as another avenue toward strengthening the nation’s workforce development infrastructure to connect people from all communities to the good jobs being created by President Biden’s Investing in America agenda,” said Acting Secretary.

Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su pose for a photo at CCAC's Center for Education, Innovation, and Training.

Good jobs – and infrastructure investments – change lives

Last weekend, Acting Secretary Su and Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona took over the White House X (formerly Twitter) and Threads accounts to celebrate Career and Technical Education Month and highlight some of the ways both departments are supporting career and technical education. Among the actions they highlighted was a recent trip to Pittsburgh, one of President Biden’s five Workforce Hubs preparing young Americans for jobs, where they talked with apprentices about how the Workforce Hub has changed their lives.

A woman in scrubs helps an older woman in a residential bedroom.
$1M+ in back wages for shortchanged Texas home healthcare workers

We recovered more than $1 million in minimum and overtime wages for 859 home healthcare workers employed by two Texas companies. Illegal pay practices remain a systemic problem in the home healthcare industry.

Funding available
$20M in grants available to support Job Corps IT training

We’ve made $20 million in grants available to help deliver information technology training and job services to Job Corps students.

A worker (not underaged) in safety gear stands on a lift in a meat processing warehouse whose floor is splattered with animal fat.
Seeking an injunction to halt oppressive child labor in meat processing facilities

We’ve asked a federal court to issue a nationwide temporary restraining order and injunction against Fayette Janitorial Service LLC, operating as Fayette Industrial, to stop the Tennessee-based company from illegally employing children at meat processing facilities while we continue investigating the company’s labor practices.

Three silos in a field of corn
More corn milling officials sentenced by Justice Department following fatal explosion

Following two convictions in October, the U.S. Department of Justice has sentenced six more Didion Milling company officials for their role in a deadly explosion that killed five workers in Wisconsin. One official was convicted for obstructing OSHA’s investigation. Two provided false testimony to OSHA in their sworn statements.

“The court’s sentences hold the company and these individuals accountable and send a clear message that cover-ups related to workplace safety will not be tolerated,” said Acting Secretary Su.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

A landscaper pushes a lawnmower over a manicured lawn. Visa violation enforcement

A New York landscaping company will pay 54 workers $1.1 million after our investigators found overtime and H-2B program violations.


Justice concept: A gavel and a statue of blind justice holding scales. Suit for misused millions

We’re suing a company that allegedly mismanaged millions in fringe benefits owed to employees of at least 54 government service contractors across the country.


Guacamole in a bowl, alongside a halved avocado. International labor

We’ve requested that the government of Mexico review a petition filed by workers at a guacamole facility alleging labor rights violations.


Profile of Tonya Brown, a professionally dressed Black woman, smiling for a photo in front of a black-and-white photo collage. A legacy of inclusion

From Soul Train to Rosa Parks to disability advocacy, Tonya Brown reflects on her heritage and the path that led her to our Office of Disability Employment Policy.


A pile of steel beams in a fabrication shop. Steelworkers endangered

OSHA fined a New Jersey steel fabrication company $348,683 for willfully exposing workers to hazards that had previously been identified by a safety consultant but not corrected.


A red stethoscope lying next to a red heart. ❤️‍🩹 Owning your heart health

We’re sharing the benefits of using available resources through your health plan coverage to promote preventative care and take control of your heart health.


An older woman looking over documents with a laptop in front of her. Spanish resources for women

Key Women’s Bureau resources are available in Spanish, including sample employment agreements for domestic workers, wage gap facts and a map of state paid leave laws.


A woman in hardhat and safety vest poses with a confident expression. 👷🏽 Women in construction

Register to attend our March 5 webinar on addressing gender-based violence and harassment in the construction industry.


VETERAN RESOURCES

A man sits in front of a laptop. Icons representing resumes hover above the computer.
Our Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has new resources to help veterans and employers understand employment discrimination protections under the law.

POST OF THE WEEK

February is #BlackHistoryMonth. To continue our celebration, we chatted with four of our great employees in Nashville, Tennessee. Check out the article to learn about their career journeys and what inspires them to serve the public.
Wage and Hour Division

IN THE NEWS

We're hiring! Grants available! Upcoming events

President Biden Announces $1.2 Billion in Student Debt Cancellation

Author: WHOPSO Staff     Published: 2/21/2024    White House Office of Political Strategy and Outreach

Today, President Biden is announcing $1.2 billion in student debt cancellation for almost 153,000 borrowers enrolled in the SAVE plan. Under the SAVE Plan, borrowers who have been in repayment for 10 years and took out $12,000 or less in student loans will have their remaining balance cancelled.

Originally planned for July, the Biden-Harris Administration is implementing this provision of SAVE nearly six months ahead of schedule. This announcement serves as yet another example of the President following through on his commitment to deliver as much relief as possible, to as many borrowers as possible, as quickly as possible. In total, the Biden-Harris Administration has now cancelled nearly $138 billion in student debt for almost 3.9 million borrowers through more than two dozen executive actions.

Best,
The Office of Political Strategy and Outreach

Last Chance to Join FACES

Author: DOE OEJE  Publish 2/21/2024  Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Justice and Equ1ity

Department of Energy's Office of Energy Justice and Equity

FACES

Final Hours for 20% OFF Rocket Tax!

Author: Rocket Lawyer Staff   Published: 2/20/2024    Rocket Lawyer

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Tax mistakes can cost you. Get 20% off when you go pro!
Get matched with a tax pro who can help you save — whether filing for yourself, your side hustle, or your business.
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ROCKETLEGAL+™ | Members get HALF OFF + an extra 20% OFF taxes | Personal: Individuals or couples filing jointly $159.99 | Personal Premier: Investors, landlords, freelancers, single-member LLCS $319.99 | Business: C-Corps, S-Corps, Partnerships, Trust/Estates and Nonprofits $399.99 |>>GET OFFER< | Rocket Legal+ members get HALF OFF Rocket Tax. Includes Federal and State tax returns.

Watch Live: Vice President Harris Delivers Remarks on Delivering Clean Water for Every American

Author:  WHOPSO Staff    Published: 2/20/2024  White House Office of Political Strategy and Outreach

Watch Live: Vice President Harris Delivers Remarks on Delivering Clean Water for Every American
Today, Vice President Harris will deliver remarks on the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to delivering clean water for every American at the Kingsley Association Community Center in Pittsburgh, PA, as part of the Investing in America tour.  The Vice President, joined by EPA Administrator Michael Regan, will also emphasize how ongoing investments in clean water are creating good-paying jobs across the country. Today’s announcement delivers funding to every single state and territory in the country to expand access to clean drinking water, replace lead pipes, improve wastewater and sanitation infrastructure, and remove PFAS contamination in water.

Atmospheric Rivers Fuel a Perfect Storm of Health Risks

Author:  Kiley Price      Published: 2/20/2024    Inside Climate News

Today's Climate

After a torrential downpour, most post-storm damages are impossible to miss: submerged cars, houses torn in half by fallen trees, debris floating through the streets. But in California, extreme weather is also mixing up a soup of rain and disease.

Climate-fueled outbreaks: In Southern California, an atmospheric river unleashed more than a foot of rain in parts of the region at the start of February. These types of storms also ravaged the state last year, following a decades-long period of drought. The climate-fueled cycle of rain and drought is driving an uptick in a fungal disease known as coccidioidomycosis, or Valley fever, reported Grist last week. As it rains, the fungi proliferates in the soil, and when it dries out, spores are kicked up from the ground and into people’s noses or throats, potentially leading to pneumonia-like symptoms of cough and fever.

Scientists sounded the alarm bells for rising Valley fever cases due to changing environmental conditions in 2022, but the data has since become even more stark. There were more than 9,280 new cases of Valley fever with onset dates in 2023, which is the highest number ever recorded in this region by the California Department of Public Health. Around 200 people in the United States die from severe cases of this respiratory disease every year.

Also mixed into the post-storm soup of ocean water, fungi spores, rain and debris in California? Millions of gallons of untreated sewage. This bacteria-ridden wastewater poses a severe public health threat, particularly for those closest to the California-Tijuana border, which I wrote about earlier in February. Two local San Diego doctors I spoke with told me a particularly unsettling statistic: After Tropical Storm Hilary slammed into Southern California in August 2023, their practice saw a 560 percent increase in diarrheal illness cases.

report released last week by scientists at San Diego State University further underscored the severity of this public health threat, adding that wastewater can also carry toxic chemicals alongside bacteria. California government representatives are currently advocating for $310 million in federal funds to refurbish the state’s dilapidated sewage treatment plant at the border — an increasingly urgent request as the state currently faces another round of storms fueled by the atmospheric rivers.

Disease, water and war: Unfortunately, this kind of post-storm sewage overflow can be seen well beyond California. In November, wastewater flowed through the streets of Gaza amid the Israel-Hamas War as storms pummeled the region and sanitation services stopped operating. With a short supply of clean drinking water, civilian camps were ravaged by disease, and cases of diarrhea in children under five increased from 48,000 to 71,000 in just one week starting Dec. 17, according to UNICEF.

“Our whole family has diarrhea that seems to be caused by the water we drink, or the cold weather,” Mahmoud Aziz, a 36-year-old who fled to Rafah, told the Washington Post on Dec. 13.  “We leave the windows open because of the bombing; we are afraid of the glass if there is a bombing.”

On Feb. 12, Israeli airstrikes killed more than 100 people in Rafah.

Halting the Run on Dwindling Groundwater

A judge in Montana recently ruled in favor of landowners and ranchers fighting against a housing development project near Helena that could have put further stress on steadily declining groundwater reserves.

Public defiance: Initially, the state and county governments had signed off on a developer’s plans to build 39 homes that would pull their water from wells, a project that was challenged by local residents in central Montana. But Broadwater County District Court Judge Michael McMahon found that the county commission and state’s Department of Natural Resources (DNRC) had conducted an “abjectly deficient” environmental assessment for the housing construction.

His 85-page order stated that the offices’ approval of the project displayed “hostility” toward a previous court ruling that requires the government to consider the potential harms to the environment and groundwater before allowing for development.

“It should give DNRC pause that citizens with seemingly no legal training appear to have a better grasp of the exempt well limits than DNRC, the agency charged with administering the Water Use Act,” McMahon wrote.

While the coalition fighting this project celebrated the ruling, developers worried about its long-term implications.

“Where are we going to house citizens of Montana?” Eugene Graf, president of the Montana Building Industry Association, told The New York Times, adding that he hopes state lawmakers revise the law.

Shutting off the tap: If upheld, the “landmark” decision has the potential to curtail many new development projects in rural Montana, reported the Montana Free Press. The ruling isn’t the first of its kind: At the end of January, the Nevada Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the state can restrict new groundwater pumping if it will negatively affect other users and wildlife, while Arizona’s governor is pushing for broad reforms and the creation of groundwater-minded laws across the state, as my colleague Wyatt Myskow reported in December.

These actions come amid a widespread reckoning against rampant groundwater usage. Last August, a New York Times investigation revealed that much of the U.S. is facing drastic declines in their aquifers as climate-fueled droughts force residents to rely more on groundwater supplies for water than rain or snowpack. More recently, a study showed that this pattern can be seen globally, with aquifers shrinking around the world.

But not all hope is lost.

“We also find cases where declining groundwater trends have been reversed following clever interventions,” Scott Jasechko, a water resources expert at the University of California, Santa Barbara who co-led the study, told my colleague Liza Gross.

For example, Tucson, Arizona, reversed groundwater declines in some areas by constructing “leaky ponds,” which seeped much-needed water into aquifers, the study’s authors wrote in The Conversation.

More Top Climate News

Hawaii is Considering a ‘Climate Tax’ for Tourists: Gov. Josh Green is spearheading a push to charge island visitors with a $25 tax to help offset the environmental impact of tourism, Jeremy Yurow reports for USA Today. The proposed bill would allocate the money toward initiatives to restore coral reefs, build greener infrastructure and implement measures to prevent wildfires like the ones that tore through Lahaina on Maui in August.

A New Satellite Tool Will Help Users Map Methane Leaks: Google recently partnered with the nonprofit Environmental Defense Fund to launch an AI-based satellite tool that could offer the most detailed look yet of global methane emissions from oil and gas operations. This could help governments pinpoint and plug the “types of machinery that contribute most to methane leaks,” Yael Maguire, who leads geo-sustainability efforts at Google, told James O’Donnell for MIT Technology Review.

An update following Friday’s newsletter … which covered the intense debate between Maine’s lobster industry and conservationists after an endangered North Atlantic right whale washed ashore in Martha’s Vineyard with lobster gear entangling its tail: Another dead North Atlantic right whale was spotted last week off the coast of Savannah, Georgia, this time with injuries consistent with a vessel strike. Boat collisions are one of the other leading killers of this marine giant alongside gear entanglements, and I covered a deep-dive of this issue in October if you’d like to learn more.

MBE Connect Summit: Official Dates April 17 – 18

Author: US DOC MBE Staff     Published: 2/20/2024    US Department of Energy

Los Angeles MBDA Business Center

Operated by PACE

Presented By Kerene Tayloe, Esq.

The US Department of Energy’s application of the White House’s Justice40 initiative is the most rigorous among all Federal departments and agencies and the resources they have created to help applicants understand Justice40 and the Community Benefits Plan are the most robust. Since the Community Benefit Plan counts for up to 20 percent of an application’s score, these resources are like gold! Kerene Tayloe, who helps lead the DOE Community Benefits Plan team, will hold 3 insights sessions on the Justice40 and Community Benefits Plan during Day 2 of the Summit. This session will be open to primes, MBEs, and others interested in hearing direct from the source about this important aspect of IIJA and other DOE funding opportunities.

IIJA, Community Benefits Plans, and Justice40: Insights for Utilities and Regulators

The IIJA (Bipartisan Infrastructure Law) and other Federal funding streams are now available to utility companies in ways never before and these funding opportunities also are engaging state utlity regulators in new ways. In this session, we’ll hear look at the IIJA/BIL, Justice40 and the Community Benefits Plan through the lens of utility and regulatory leadership. + What is Justice40 and the Community Benefits Plan and how is this evinced in proposal and payable milestones? + How should companies approach them and what are some best ways to build on solid work already undertaken as well as assess the level of excellence the company’s work is attaining? + As a regulator in a state with multiple IIJA projects, how important will the Justice40 and project CBPs be and what is the regulator’s role?

Biden-Harris Administration Unveils Ambitious Plans for Equity and Racial Justice Across Federal Agencies

Author: Stacey M. Brown     Published: 2/15/2024    Washington Informer Newspaper

**FILE** President Joe Biden (left) and Vice President Kamala Harris (Courtesy of Mark Mahoney)

The Biden-Harris administration has unveiled its Equity Action Plans for federal agencies in a continued push for equity and racial justice. This release marks the first anniversary of President Biden’s second Executive Order on Equity, outlining strategies to address systemic barriers and promote inclusivity in policies and programs.

Since taking office, officials tout how the administration has championed an equity and racial justice agenda, ensuring equal opportunities for all communities. However, they acknowledged that, despite progress, historical disparities persist in laws and public policies, hindering the advancement of underserved communities.

In a fact sheet released Wednesday, administration officials said the White House has actively implemented two historic Executive Orders on equity, the President’s Investing in America Agenda, and key legislation to advance opportunity and fulfill Biden’s promise of America for everyone.

“Since day one of our administration, President Biden and I have been fully committed to ensuring that every person in America has equitable access to opportunity and the ability to thrive,” Vice President Kamala Harris remarked.

On the first anniversary of the second equity executive order, federal agencies, including all cabinet-level agencies, released their 2023 equity action plans. The White House said these plans include measures to increase access to federal contracting dollars, address discrimination in the housing market, promote environmental justice, tackle health disparities, bolster civil rights enforcement, and combat bias in technology.

The administration also released a White House Progress Report on Equity, showcasing over 650 actions taken by agencies since the release of their 2022 Equity Action Plans. The actions range from increasing access to federal funding for small, disadvantaged businesses to addressing health disparities and promoting fairness in the justice system.

In her statement, Harris celebrated the past year’s accomplishments and reiterated the commitment to addressing remaining barriers.

“Together, we will continue to advance equity across the federal government, not only in hiring and appointments but in the historic investments we are making in communities that had been overlooked for far too long,” she stated.

DOE Challenges Solar Industry to Triple Community Solar by the End of 2025AuthorA

Author: US DOE  Staff    Published:  2/14/2024    EERE

U.S. Department of Energy - Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Solar Energy Technologies Office

WASHINGTON, D.C.­­ – At the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s National Community Solar Partnership (NCSP) Annual Summit today, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Jeff Marootian challenged the community solar industry to commit to meeting the NCSP target of 20 gigawatts (GW) of community solar by 2025—up from seven GW today. DOE also launched several new initiatives aimed at supporting the deployment of community solar, a critical tool for achieving DOE’s goal of 100% clean electricity by 2035 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 while providing an equitable pathway to renewable energy for all Americans.

“Thanks to President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act and Solar for All programs, this target is within reach,” said Jeff Marootian, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. “DOE and our partners at NCSP are committed to providing industry with the tools and information they need to advance our national goal of accessible, affordable community solar for every American household.”

NCSP announced the target in 2021 and estimated that 20 GW of community solar would power the equivalent of 5 million households and create $1 billion in energy savings for subscribers. Since then, the rollout of new and expanded tax credits, and funding for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Solar for All residential investment programs, which can include investment in community solar, have primed the industry to experience rapid growth—and the market potential is significant. In a new report, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) estimates that if all technically viable community solar is deployed, it could serve more than 53 million households and over 300,000 businesses in the U.S. that cannot access rooftop solar, representing nearly 1 terawatt of potential community solar capacity.

View the study findings and attend NREL’s upcoming webinar to learn more.

In support of the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary’s challenge to the industry, NCSP announced the following initiatives at the event:

Equitable Solar Communities of Practice 

The DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office selected five organizations to lead new Equitable Solar Communities of Practice, pending negotiation and final acceptance. These organizations will each receive $75,000 to identify and convene a core team of key stakeholders over a 6-month period to identify resource gaps, support the development and dissemination of best practices and resources, and identify pathways to scale equitable solar practices:

  • Solar United Neighbors: Equitable Access and Consumer Protections – This community of practice will focus on solar sales practices, contract terms and disclosures, and availability of financial products that support strong consumer protections and participation among all households, and inclusive education and outreach.
  • Clean Energy States Alliance: Meaningful Household Savings – This community of practice will focus on providing household savings for energy burden reductions, wealth building opportunities, and other direct benefits for all households including renters.
  • Clean Energy Group: Resilience, Storage, and Grid Benefits – This community of practice will support household- and community-level resilience, grid strengthening and grid-level resilience, and improved health outcomes through reduced or shortened power outages.
  • Cooperative Energy Futures: Community-led Economic Development – This community of practice will focus on models and opportunities for local economic development which can include community ownership models, community benefits agreements, entrepreneurship support, and increased support for local-, small-, minority-, and women-owned businesses.
  • Midwest Renewable Energy Association: Solar Workforce – This community of practice will work on ways to ensure that solar jobs are accessible to workers from all backgrounds, provide prevailing wages and benefits, support career pathways and training, and provide opportunities to participate in a union.

Learn more about the Equitable Solar Communities of Practice. This funding opportunity is managed by ENERGYWERX, a collaboration made possible through an innovative Partnership Intermediary Agreement set up by the DOE Office of Technology Transitions.

Least-Cost Optimal Distribution Grid Expansion (LODGE) Model 

LODGE, a new model released today, identifies the most cost-effective ways community solar can be sited on the grid, with a focus on minimizing interconnection costs and maximizing distributed resource deployment. Historically, community solar adoption can be held up by costly grid upgrades or untimely review processes. If adopted widely, the model has the potential to encourage streamlined interconnection and community solar deployment. The LODGE tool complements DOE’s existing Interconnection Innovation e-Xchange program, a stakeholder partnership with the goal of enabling a faster, simpler, and fairer interconnection process for clean energy resources.

Developed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the model is being piloted with the Oregon Public Utility Commission Additional state utilities and electric public utility commissions interested in piloting the tool should become a LODGE model partner.

Learn more about the tool at NCSP’s interconnection and LODGE model webinar on March 7 at 11 a.m. ET.

Learn about NCSP’s other community solar initiatives.

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About the National Community Solar Partnership 

NCSP is working to increase community solar installed in the United States to 20 GW, enough to power the equivalent of five million households by 2025 and create $1 billion in energy bill savings to consumers across America. NCSP has over 1,850 partners who leverage peer networks and technical assistance resources to overcome barriers to expanding community solar access.