What is an AML check?

To comply with the Bank Secrecy Act and FINRA's rule 3310 our banking partner runs AML (Anti Money Laundering), KYC (Know Your Customer), and CIP (Customer Identification Program) checks. When an investor submits an investment or opens a Secondary account, the self reported information is automatically checked by software. If your checks are passed, no further information will be required.

In some instances, these checks fail to verify certain information for various reasons.  When this happens, further information is typically required to resolve the issue.  In the event this happens, you will receive an email requesting the additional documents needed to resolve the software error and complete the AML check. 

This happens often, and is not unusual in any way, so please don't be alarmed or take offense if a member of our team requests this information. It just means that there was some error in the software which did not allow the check to be completed using the automated software process, and needs a bit more troubleshooting. 

What might we request?  

The request can be one or more of the following documents:

  • A color photo or scan of your government issued ID such as a drivers license or passport 
  • A color photo or scan of your SSN card or a W-2 or W-9 from the most recent tax year
  • A utility bill or bank statement with your residential (not a PO Box or commercial address) dated within the last 90 days
  • For trusts, IRAs, and LLCs we also require one or more of the following:
    • A document indicating you are the sole owner or authorized to invest on behalf of the entity 
    • A document showing the entity is active an in good standing 
    • A proof of address for the entity (if an LLC) 
    • Articles of incorporation
    • Proof of EIN 

For investments submitted as an entity (Trust, LLC, or IRA) we will also need to clear the associated person for the entity. The address must always be a current residence for the individual and we cannot accept investment without that under any circumstances. 

Why doesn't my dashboard show an error? 

In some cases of manual review, the document request will come via email rather than through your dashboard. In that case, please reply with the documents or send them directly to contact@startengine.com for processing. We are constantly working to streamline and automate this process, but at this time there is still an element of human touch! 

Why weren't my first documents accepted?

From time to time, a document is not accepted or causes another error. For example, a document with an address that does not match the one submitted with the investment or an expired ID will mean we need to get updated documents or information. Also please ensure the proof of address document is dated within the last 90 days, and the scans or photos provided are clear and in color. 

Will this affect my credit score? 

The KYC product accesses multiple different data sources such as PEPs & Sanction lists, however no credit data is searched against, therefore KYC checks do not leave a footprint or a mark on your credit report. 

I don't like sharing my personal information.

We sincerely understand the concern regarding your personal information, and we take your security seriously on our platform. We do not save these documents internally to StartEngine but rather pass them directly to our banking partner via upload to their backend. Additionally, our platform only saves the last 4 digits of SSNs and payment details, so we cannot access the complete version. Upon request, we can also provide you with a secure drop link. Please reach out to contact@startengine.com requesting your unique link if you need to send documents. 

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