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How to File a Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) Report

January 22, 2024

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Full-time blogger and full-time Certified Public Accountant obsessed with helping content creators make and save more money through 1:1 bookkeeping, tax prep, & consulting services.
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So you know you have to comply with the new Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) Reporting requirement (if you don’t, then check out this post). Now what?

Let’s break down who needs to file and how to a report.

Who Needs to File

Every “reporting” company must file a BOI report. This includes partnerships, LLCs, S Corps, and C Corps.

There are, however, 23 exemptions from filing the report:

Most small businesses in the online creative industries won’t qualify for any of these exemptions. So if you’re a blogger, web designer, influencer, sell ebooks, etc., you will need to file a report.

When do you need to file?

If your company was incorporated before January 1st, 2024, you have until January 1, 2025 to file your BOI report.

If your company was incorporated after January 1, 2024 and before January 1, 2025, you have 90 calendar days after receiving your Articles of Organization to file your BOI report.

For any company incorporated after January 1, 2025, this window goes down to 30 days after receiving your Articles of Organization to file your BOI report.

How often do you file?

The good news is this can be a one-and-done type of report if you don’t have any changes to make once it’s filed. If there are changes to make (ie. there are new beneficial owners, you need to correct a mistake, etc.), you will have 30 days to file a new report after that change.

How do you file?

File your BOI report online on the FinCEN website using the below steps:

  1. Go to the right-hand side of the page and select “FIle a reporting using the BOI E-filing system” link.
  2. Select the “Get Started” button in the “Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) Reporting” area.
  3. You then have an option to download a PDF version of the report to prepare offline and then upload and submit at a later date or prepare and file online immediately.

You will need the following information to fill out the report:

  • Reporting Company legal name
  • Alternate name (e.g. trade name, DBA) (if applicable)
  • Form of identification (SSN, EIN, or ITIN)
  • Jurisdiction of formation (this is the state in which your company is registered)
  • Current U.S. address
  • Company Applicant – this is the person who physically filed the incorporation documents to register the business (only fill this out if your company was incorporated after January 1, 2024)
  • Beneficial Owner information (full name, date of birth, residential address, and form of identification (drivers license or passport))

Who is a Beneficial Owner?

These are the people who are calling the shots and reaping the rewards from the business. More than likely, for most small business owners and especially those in the influencer and blogging space, there is one beneficial owner…YOU!

If you’re in business with a partner(s) or a spouse, they would also be classified as a beneficial owner.

What are the penalties for not filing on time?

This is where things can get scary and may have been what brought you here in the first place. The failure to file a complete and accurate initial or updated BOI report with FinCEN can cost the owner(s) a $500-per-day fine, up to $10,000 in total, and even up to two years in prison.

As we sail into this new era of financial transparency, one thing is for sure – the tides are changing. Beneficial Ownership Information reporting is becoming a crucial player in the fight against financial crime and a key driver for a more accountable business landscape. So, buckle up because the seas of change are upon us, and it’s time to set sail into a more transparent future.

Although this all might sound scary and complicated, rest assured that if you aren’t doing anything “shady” in your business, there is nothing to worry about. Due to the lofty fines and penalties, it’s best to bite the bullet and file your report as soon as you can now that the filing window has opened. It took me under 5 minutes!

Just be sure to keep this requirement in the back of your mind should something change with your company structure or beneficial owners as you would need to file an updated report fairly quickly.

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Hi, I’m Ansley—and, technically, this counts as my second blog.

I’m both a CPA and a food blogger, obsessed with helping my fellow bloggers grow profitable businesses. To learn more about how I can help you make and save more money, check out my accounting services below!

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