For those who have not heard, another filing requirement of the U.S. government will require action by participants in the private equity industry. Form BE-10 is a mandatory filing required by the International Investment and Trade in Services Survey Act as part of the 2014 Benchmark Survey of U.S. Direct Investment Abroad. Form BE-10 is intended to provide benchmark information to the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding U.S. parent entities and their foreign affiliates every five years. The current survey covers fiscal year 2014. The BE-10 filing requirement is particularly applicable to private funds, investment managers, general partners of non-U.S. limited partnerships, U.S. shareholders of non-U.S. general partners and U.S. holding companies with non-U.S. subsidiaries or affiliates. In general, any U.S. person with direct or indirect ownership of 10 percent or more of the voting equity of a non-U.S. enterprise during its 2014 fiscal year has to file a report.
Required information is to be reported on one of four versions of the new form BE-10 issued by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The reports are to be kept confidential by the BEA and used for statistical analysis. The BE-10 program is analogous to the BE-13 reporting system imposed on foreign investors in the United States for many years.
The initial filing deadline is May 29, 2015, for those who need to report fewer than 50 foreign affiliates and June 30, 2015, for those who need to report 50 or more foreign affiliates. Although it is anticipated that the BEA will be relatively understanding about good-faith failures to meet these deadlines, affected entities may want to consider sending a notification to the BEA on or before the due date indicating they are in the process of assembling the information needed to complete the required filings promptly.
Persons who do not comply with the filing requirements are subject to civil penalties of up to $25,000, and willful failures to file can result in criminal penalties.
The filing requirements, forms and procedures are not unduly complex and can be found on the BEA website. It may be worthwhile to assign someone in the organization to become familiar with the BE-10 process, review the list of affiliates that may need to be reported and complete the filing without delay.