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$500 Per Day Penalty: How the Corporate Transparency Act May Affect Notary Entrepreneurs in 2024 and Beyond

Jun 14, 2024

Maybe you’ve heard of the Corporate Transparency Act. I had heard it, but I’ve been ignoring it because when I hear the word “corporate,” I think big business. 

I was wrong. 

As the government combats terrorism, money laundering, and other illegal activities, the Corporate Transparency Act is designed precisely to gain ownership information of small, mom & pop, or single person companies, or solo-preneurs. 

This is us, notaries! 

In many cases, notaries public who are doing business as an LLC, corporation, partnership, a fictitious name, or other registered entities will have to comply with the Corporate Transparency Act. 

If we don’t file the information on time, by January 1, 2025, we may be subject to fines of $500 per day (and maybe even jail time!). 

And if you’re thinking, “Oh well, what’s $500? Small price to pay.” That’s only assuming the government is efficient enough to notice you haven’t filed after just one day. 

They won’t. 

In fact, it could be years before they notice you haven’t filed your beneficial ownership information. 

$500 a day adds up pretty quickly. 

If you didn't know about this, now you do. 

Now don’t worry, complying with the Corporate Transparency Act is relatively simple and FREE to do. 

The first thing you need to do is determine if you are required to file beneficial ownership information (BOI). 

Now, I’m not an attorney, so this shouldn’t be construed as legal advice. You can look this stuff up yourself on the FinCen (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network- SEE!! Kind of a big deal) site here

Here’s the general rule of thumb on who needs to file under the Corporate Transparency Act...

The Corporate Transparency Act (the “CTA”) is a law that mandates that a business entity must disclose who the beneficial owners of the entity are.

ANY business entity formed by application is subject to the CTA. These entities include:

  • Corporations (both C and S status);
  • Partnerships (both general and limited);
  • Professional Corporations; 
  • Limited Liability Entities (in all forms);
  • And possibly even sole proprietors that operate a DBA with a fictitious name (only if you've registered your sole proprietorship-see the FinCen FAQ here).

There’s a good chance, as a notary entrepreneur, that you fit one of these categories. That means you need to file beneficiary ownership information by January 1, 2025. If you operate a business using your real name, you may not need to file because the government (and the public) can clearly determine who owns and operates the business (some exceptions apply).

If you’re like me, and completely disregarded the Corporate Transparency Act, you’re not alone. The Treasury Department estimates there are over 32 million small businesses that need to file their beneficial ownership information, and hardly anyone I talk to knows anything about it. 

But, when it comes to the government, ignorance is NOT bliss. They don’t care if you “didn’t know about it.” And now they’re empowered to enforce, with fines of up to $500 per day and possible jail time. 

Don’t get caught up in this. 

Filing your BOI is free and pretty simple, yet still intimidating, especially if you’re busy. 

Along with Judi Lawrence, I partnered with the leading voice on the Corporate Transparency Act, Art Werner, who travels the country training Certified Public Accountants (CPA) and other legal advisors on how to prepare and implement the rules required by the CTA, to create some resources to help you get in compliance right now. 

You can download the FREE “Notary’s Guide to Corporate Transparency Act Compliance” at the link below. 

Plus, if your wheels started turning when you saw that there are over 32 million other businesses that need to comply with the Corporate Transparency Act by the end of the year, I’ll show you what we created to help earn some revenue being of even more service to your network. 

Download the free guide here



*I'm not an attorney and this is not legal advice. The Corporate Transparency Act and the reporting rules for beneficial ownership are available for your own research on their public website and FAQ page. If you have any questions about your situation beyond how they identify reporting companies and whether there is a requirement to report, please consult a legal or tax adviser.


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