In the wake of the recent judicial developments surrounding the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA), professionals and businesses nationwide find themselves in an interesting position. The CTA, initially enacted with bipartisan support in 2021, was aimed at enhancing anti-money laundering efforts through the establishment of a beneficial ownership database. The CTA was intended to curb the use of anonymous shell companies for illicit financial activities, thereby protecting U.S. national security interests. However, a ruling from an Alabama federal judge in the case National Small Business United v. Yellen, No. 5:22-cv-01448 (N.D. Ala.) has declared the CTA unconstitutional, casting uncertainty over its future and compliance obligations for businesses, particularly affecting over 32 million small businesses across the United States. (You can read the Memorandum Opinion by Judge Liles C. Burke here.)

The judge’s decision stems from concerns over the infringement of state sovereignty, privacy, and due process rights, alongside questioning the federal government’s authority to impose federal disclosure requirements on entity formation which is traditionally under state jurisdiction. This ruling has not only challenged the legislative reach of the federal government but has also sparked a significant debate over the balance between national security interests and constitutional rights.

As stakeholders in corporate governance, legal compliance, and regulatory requirements, it is imperative to understand the ramifications of this ruling. For businesses, particularly small and privately-owned entities, the immediate question arises: What does this mean for those who are nearing filing deadlines or have already submitted their information? This uncertainty may prompt companies to reevaluate their compliance strategies, potentially leading to a temporary halt in information disclosure until further clarification or appeals are resolved. Fin CEN for its part has indicated that it will not enforce BOI reporting against the Plaintiffs in the National Small Business United case, but Fin CEN indicates that all other reporting companies must comply with the law. You can learn more about the requirements online at:

Moreover, the controversy highlights a critical point of contention between enhancing transparency to combat financial crimes and preserving individual and state rights.

Supporters of the CTA argue that its repeal could significantly undermine efforts to fight corruption, money laundering, and the financing of terrorism, giving leeway to bad actors to exploit the U.S. financial system through anonymous shell companies.

Critics, on the other hand, see the ruling as a necessary check on federal overreach. They advocate for a more balanced approach that safeguards constitutional rights without compromising the integrity of financial systems.

As we navigate these issues, the question remains: How can Congress and regulators devise a framework that effectively balances these competing interests?

The dialogue between maintaining national security and protecting constitutional liberties is far from over. Businesses, legal practitioners, and policymakers must stay abreast of developments and engage in the ongoing discourse to ensure that the solutions adopted serve both to protect the integrity of the financial system and uphold the foundational principles of privacy and due process rights.

The partial repeal of the Corporate Transparency Act presents a complex legal landscape for businesses and legal professionals alike. It calls for a nuanced understanding of regulatory compliance and constitutional rights, urging stakeholders to closely monitor legal developments and adapt their practices accordingly. The journey towards finding a balanced solution continues, underscoring the importance of informed dialogue and collaboration among all parties involved.

At this stage, we are advising our clients that they have an obligation to comply with the BOI reporting requirements and we remain prepared to assist.  We also are monitoring the case and the appeal process to see if the ruling will be reversed or if the enforcement will be suspended for all parties.

This summary publication is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. Please contact your Dawda Mann attorney with specific legal questions.