With the advent of messaging apps such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Signal, the ways in which employees are able to communicate and collaborate with each other are rapidly expanding. At the same time, companies have increased use of document collaboration platforms such as Microsoft SharePoint and eRooms to supplement or replace traditional closed-system document management systems. Message and document retention within these platforms is uneven and, in some cases (such as in the popular messaging app SnapChat), speedy message erasure is not a bug, but a feature. On Friday, January 26, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and Department of Justice Antitrust Division (“DOJ”) announced that the two agencies are updating the standard preservation obligation guidance to keep pace with the expanded use of collaboration tools that do not otherwise prioritize message retention.Continue Reading FTC and DOJ Update Preservation Obligation Guidance

The Corporate Transparency Act (“CTA” or the “Act”) comes into effect on January 1, 2024. Enacted by Congress as part of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020, the CTA requires certain entities, domestic and foreign, to report beneficial ownership to the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”).

The CTA’s reporting obligations will apply to “Reporting Companies” (discussed below) currently in existence, and to those formed after January 1, 2024. However, while FinCEN estimates that the CTA will affect over 32 million entities, it will largely impact only smaller and unregulated companies. For example, companies that meet the CTA’s definition of a “large operating company,” are publicly traded or regulated, or are a subsidiary of certain exempt entities are not required to submit beneficial ownership information to FinCEN. Accordingly, while all companies should take note of the CTA and the significant change in the law for corporate reporting obligations, an equally vast number of entities will likely find themselves exempt from these requirements.

With the CTA’s effective date fast approaching, companies should consider its potential impact to their compliance obligations and, if appropriate, implement appropriate policies and procedures for handling reporting.Continue Reading The Corporate Transparency Act December 2023 Update