No. Customs Broker licenses are issued to individuals, associations, corporations, or partnerships. These licenses are restricted to the person or entity to which they are issued, and are not transferable from that license holder to any other individual or entity, regardless the relationship. For example, an individual licensee may not use his or her license for the purpose of a corporation to engage in "Customs business" - even if the licensee is sole owner of that corporation. The corporation would need to obtain its own Customs Broker license.
Note that, upon that corporation's receipt of its license, the licensed individual could qualify it to engage in "Customs business." In such a case, the licensee would be required to be an officer of that corporation.
If the broker wishes to operate under a different name, the broker can change his, her, or its name, or can can utilizie a fictiotious name name i.e., DBA, or "Doing Business As". Pursuant to 19 CFR § 111.30(c), a broker who wishes to change names, or proposes to operate under a trade or fictitious name, must obtain approval from U.S. Customs and Border Protection prior to that new name's use.
In the case of a trade or fictitious name, the broker must affix his, her, or its own name in conjunction with the approved trade name when signing customs documents. For example, should Customs broker "ABC, Inc." be granted approval to use the fictitious name of "XYZ," that Customs broker must sign customs documents as "ABC, Inc. dba XYZ."
To request use of a trade name, please submit to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Broker Management Branch, the following:
A written request for use of the trade name. Include your name, mailing and email address, phone number, port and port code, and license number.
A copy of approval to use the trade name from the relevant local authority (e.g., state or county). If the relevant local authority does not review trade name usage requests, please note this in the your request to the Broker Management Branch.
Yes. A licensed individual and a licensed corporation, association, or partnership, each have an obligation to file their own triennial status reports. If the business entity files its status report timely but the individual licensee qualifying the business does not file his or her own status report timely, pursuant to 19 CFR 111.30(d), that individual's license may be revoked by operation of law.
An individual licensed qualifier for a corporation, association, or partnership, who loses his or her license, subjects that business entity's license to possible revocation. Pursuant to 19 CFR 111.45(a), if, during any continuous period of 120 days, the corporation, association, or partnership brokerage firm fails to have at least once officer who holds a valid individual broker's license, that business entity's license and all of its permits will be revoked by operation of law.
It depends. For a company to engage in "Customs business," that company must generally become its own licensed entity. If the company engages in "Customs business" without a license, as specified in 19 CFR 111.11, the company may be subject to penalties. 19 U.S.C. 1641(b)(6) dictates, for example, that each intentional transaction of customs business without a license creates liability for a monetary penalty of up to $10,000.
Should the company not engage in customs business, however, then it is not necessary to disclose the entity's formation to U.S. Customs & Border Protection. Nevertheless, other rules and regulations still apply. For example, if the individual broker outsources ancillary services to the corporation, the corporation must have no access to or involvement in the actual customs business work of the licensed broker. In addition, pursuant to 19 CFR 111.24, broker clients record, and the information contained in those records, must generally not be disclosed to third parties. Third parties include the broker's company, so long as it is its own distinct legal entity, irrespective of ownership structure.
No. Filer codes, which are unique and dedicated, are assigned to individuals, corporations, partnerships, or associations. As such, an individual who later obtains a corporate license to engage in "Customs business" and intends to conduct "Customs business" as a corporation would need to obtain a seperate corporate filer code. The manner of requesting the filer code for the company remains the same as requesting the filer code for the individual.