The new federal BOI reporting requirement has prompted an increase in dissolutions as business owners and investors are cleaning out entities they no longer use so that they will not have to complete the new BOI filing on these entities starting in 2024. The end of the year is an excellent time to consider whether you should dissolve an unused business entity. This is particularly important as we head into 2024 where LLCs and Corporations will be required to file a Business Ownership Information report with FinCEN identifying those persons who own 25% or more or who have substantial control in an entity. Failure to file a BOI report on an LLC or corporation will result in financial and criminal penalties. If you are a business owner or investor you need to analyze your entity structures and don’t forget the companies you may have left behind. Perhaps you have an LLC that once owned a rental property or an s-corporation that once operated a business. If there are no operations or assets in your entity and there is no intention to place new business or assets in the entity, then you should dissolve your entity. While there are some exceptions to the BOI filing for “inactive” entities established before January 1, 2020, we think it is best to clearly dissolve unused entities so that there is no question or requirement later on to prove that you meet the exception with FinCEN.
Dissolution is the legal method of closing an entity and its registration with the state. Following dissolution, the entity is no longer active with the state and you cannot operate a business in the company name. Besides avoiding the new BOI requirement, there are a number of reasons to dissolve an inactive entity. First, dissolution will end annual on-going fees that are charged by the state. Second, dissolution and the filing of a final tax return (where applicable) for the company will end on-gong tax return reporting. This is of particular benefit to corporations and partnership LLCs as they are all required to file annual tax returns. And for single member LLCs we are now recommending that you send a letter to the IRS with your EIN stating that the LLC was dissolved so that the federal government is also notified of the dissolution and so that your EIN won’t get cross referenced with FinCEN. If the company ends up being dissolved after January 1st then you may end up being required to file a 2024 tax return for the company and may also be subject to 2024 state fees. And, if you don’t get it dissolved in 2024 you’ll have to comply with the new FinCEN BOI reporting requirements.
ASSET PROTECTION AFTER DISSOLUTION
If a claim or lawsuit is later filed against the dissolved entity, the corporate veil will still be available to protect the business owner’s personal assets from the business so long as the liability arose when the entity was in good standing. As a result, owners of a dissolved entity still receive liability protection from the company for liabilities that occurred when the entity was active and registered even if a lawsuit is brought later on when the entity has been dissolved.
A proper dissolution requires a filing with the state of organization/incorporation as well as the drafting or company minutes documenting the dissolution and wind down of the company. It also includes notifying the IRS whether that is on a final return or by letter. And lastly, you’ll want to close out any bank or merchant accounts associated with the entity. Remember, you will also want to inform your accountant as to the dissolution to insure that proper tax reporting is handled on your tax returns. Our law firm, KKOS Lawyers, can help get your entity dissolved properly in all 50 states and can also assist with your BOI compliance for on-going entities.
By: Mat Sorensen, Partner KKOS Lawyers and CEO Directed IRA & Directed Trust Company