What’s reported in a OFAC background check?

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) plays a major role in international finance and economic sanctions. But what exactly does it do? And why should you care? In this article, we will be discussing the basics of OFAC and how it affects businesses.  We’ll also be exploring why an OFAC search is important for organizations to do.

OFAC is a division of the U.S. Department of Treasury that enforces financial sanctions imposed by the United States on foreign countries, terrorist organizations, drug traffickers, and other entities. It was established in 1950 to identify, track, and freeze assets owned by those who are not compliant with US regulations or laws. It administers restrictions against certain foreign countries, entities, individuals, vessels, and aircrafts that are listed on OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list. This list contains names of individuals or entities that have been determined to pose a threat to national security or public safety.

Why an OFAC Search is Important for Businesses


An OFAC search helps businesses identify customers who may be on the SDN list or involved in prohibited activities regulated by OFAC regulations. By conducting an OFAC search before forming any business relationship with a customer or vendor abroad, businesses can ensure compliance with federal law and protect themselves from potential criminal penalties for engaging with sanctioned entities or individuals. Depending on the situation, these penalties could include fines up to $1 million per violation and up to 20 years imprisonment for certain individuals involved in intentional violations of sanctions programs administered by OFAC. As such, it is essential that businesses conduct thorough background checks when working with overseas partners or customers to ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations regarding financial transactions abroad.



In conclusion, understanding the basics behind the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and performing an OFAC search can help businesses stay compliant with federal law while protecting their reputation as they conduct business internationally. An OFAC search will provide your business assurance against engaging with sanctioned entities or individuals who may pose a threat to national security or public safety according to US regulations or laws which could result in hefty fines or even jail time if violated unknowingly or intentionally. In order to maintain compliance when taking part in international transactions it’s important for companies to invest time into researching their partners before entering into any agreements abroad!

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