Answers to Biennial Form 323-E Frequently Asked Questions

  1.   Who must file the Biennial Form 323-E?
  2.   When must Licensees and other Respondents file the Biennial Form 323-E?
  3.   Who is required to file Biennial Form 323-E for a station that was assigned or transferred after October 1, 2019?
  4.   How do I file Form 323-E?
  5.   Does a Licensee need to file a separate Form 323-E for each of its stations?
  6.   Does an entity that holds attributable interests in multiple Licensees need to file a separate Form 323-E for each Licensee?
  7.   How do I copy information from one Form 323-E filing to another Form 323-E filing?
  8.   Can I use the “Validate and Resubmit” function during the 2019 Biennial Filing Window?
  9.   What is an FRN and who is required to report one on Form 323-E?
  10.   How do I obtain a standard CORES FRN for an individual or an entity?
  11.   How do I obtain a Restricted Use FRN for an individual?
  12.   Who can report a Special Use FRN on Form 323-E? Are there any special requirements regarding the use of Special Use FRNs on Form 323-E?
  13.   How should I report the percentage of votes, equity, and total assets held by an attributable interest holder?
  14.   How should a trust be reported on Form 323-E?
  15.   If an individual or entity has attributable interests in additional broadcast stations that aren’t covered by this Form 323-E filing, do I need to list those other broadcast interests on the filing?
  16.   Where can I obtain a copy of a Form 323-E filing in LMS if I do not know the file number or the FRN and password that the filer used to log in to LMS to prepare the filing?
  1.   Who must file the Biennial Form 323-E?

    Licensees of noncommercial AM, FM, full-power television, Class A television, and low-power television (LPTV) broadcast stations must file Form 323-E every two years in order to report all attributable interests in the Licensee.

    In the case of ownership structures that include parent companies or other forms of indirect ownership, a separate Form 323-E must be filed for each entity in the organizational structure that has an attributable interest in the Licensee.  (Each Licensee and attributable entity that is required to file Form 323-E is referred to as a Respondent.)  Where a non-Licensee Respondent holds attributable interests in multiple Licensees and the information submitted on the Respondent’s ownership report is equally applicable to each Licensee and all licenses, the Respondent may file a single Form 323-E listing all such Licensees and licenses.  For more information on this, please see the answer provided to Question 6.

    An individual must be reported on a Respondent’s Form 323 filing if the individual has an attributable interest in the Respondent (e.g., because the individual is an officer, director, member, partner, or owns voting stock/shares in the Respondent).  An individual is not required to file a separate Form 323 unless (s)he is a sole-proprietor Licensee.

  2.   When must Licensees and other Respondents file the Biennial Form 323-E?

    Typically, Biennial Form 323-E must be filed by December 1 in all odd-numbered years.  In 2019, however, the filing window has been extended.  Accordingly, the 2019 biennial filing window opens November 1, 2019, and the filing deadline is January 31, 2020.  These deadlines were adjusted to allow for the implementation of additional technical improvements to Form 323/323-E, including additional copying and prefilling capabilities within the Commission’s Licensing and Management System (LMS).  As announced in the FCC’s recent Order, these revised deadlines are for the 2019 biennial filing window only

    Please note, the extension of the filing deadline does not change the requirement that the information reported on Biennial Form 323-E must be current as of October 1, 2019. 

    All Respondents are required to file a 2019 Biennial Form 323/323-E by January 31, 2020, regardless of when the last ownership report was filed.  In other words, even if the Respondent filed Form 323-E less than two years ago (e.g., to comply with the requirement to file a non-biennial, post-consummation ownership report after consummating an authorized assignment or transfer of control of an AM, FM, or full-power television station), the Respondent must still file Biennial Form 323-E by January 31, 2020, and the filing must provide information reflecting ownership interests existing as of October 1, 2019.

  3.   Who is required to file Biennial Form 323-E for a station that was assigned or transferred after October 1, 2019?

    If a station is assigned or transferred after October 1, 2019, the entity or individual that was the Licensee of the station as of October 1, 2019, is required to file a biennial ownership report on behalf of that station, even if the assignment or transfer was consummated before or during the filing window.  In addition, a separate Form 323-E must be filed for each entity that held an attributable interest in the Licensee of the station as of October 1, 2019.

  4.   How do I file Form 323-E?

    Form 323-E must be filed electronically within the Commission’s Licensing and Management System (LMS), https://enterpriseefiling.fcc.gov/dataentry/login.html.  While you may use any valid FRN and password to log into LMS, you will need the Respondent’s FRN and password to file Form 323.  To learn what an FRN is and how to obtain one, please see the answer provided to Question 9 below.

    Bureau staff conducted an information session on the filing of Form 323/323-E on November 28, 2017.  Follow this link to view a recording of the session:  https://www.fcc.gov/news-events/events/2017/11/biennial-forms-323-and-323-e-information-session.  For questions not answered by the recording or these FAQs, please contact the Biennial Form 323/323-E Team at form323@fcc.gov.  Note:  The Commission will not accept a Form 323 ownership report that is mailed or e-mailed to the Commission; all forms must be filed electronically in LMS.

  5.   Does a Licensee need to file a separate Form 323-E for each of its stations?

    If a Licensee holds multiple station licenses and the information submitted on the Licensee’s ownership report is equally applicable to each license, the Licensee may file a single Form 323-E listing all such licenses.

  6.   Does an entity that holds attributable interests in multiple Licensees need to file a separate Form 323-E for each Licensee?

    If an entity holds attributable interests in multiple Licensees and the information submitted on the entity’s ownership report is equally applicable to each Licensee and all licenses, the entity may file a single report listing all such Licensees and licenses.  However, an entity that both (1) is a Licensee and (2) holds attributable interests in one or more Licensees must file two ownership reports—one as a Licensee Respondent and one as a non-Licensee Respondent.

  7.   How do I copy information from one Form 323-E filing to another Form 323-E filing?

    There are two ways to copy information from an existing Form 323-E that was previously filed in LMS.  (Note, however, you cannot copy information from a filing submitted in CDBS on the previous version of Form 323-E.)  In addition, as discussed below, it is also possible to copy a draft (unfiled) Form 323-E that you have saved on the dashboard in your LMS account. 

    Copying from a Previous Filing:  One way to copy from a previous Form 323-E filing is to start a new Form 323-E and then enter the file number associated with the previous filing in the box provided on the General Information page of the new filing.  This method of copying allows you copy information from any Form 323-E that was filed in LMS, regardless of who filed it. 

    The other way to copy information from a previous Form 323-E filing is to log in to LMS using the same FRN and password that was used to log in to LMS to prepare the previous filing.  (If you do not have this FRN and password, you can still copy from the filing using the method discussed in the paragraph above.)  Then, go to the “Reports” tab and click the file number associated with Form 323-E filing you wish to copy.  On the next screen, click “File an Application” and then select “Copy to Biennial” or “Copy to Non-Biennial,” depending on whether you wish to create a new biennial or non-biennial Form 323-E filing. 

    Copying from a Saved Form 323-E in LMS:  If you have filled out and saved a draft ownership report on the current version of Form 323-E, you can click the “Copy” button next to the draft report on the “Saved Applications” tab in LMS.  You can then edit the duplicate copy to add or change information and save it as a separate draft Form 323-E filing. 

    For account security reasons, it is not possible to copy a draft (unfiled) copy of a form that was created in a different account in LMS.  However, after the form is filed and receives an FCC file number, it can be copied using the method described above for copying from a previous filing.  

  8.   Can I use the “Validate and Resubmit” function during the 2019 Biennial Filing Window?

    Yes, the “Validate and Resubmit” function is now available for the 2019 filing window.  The “Validate and Resubmit” function allows a Respondent with a current and unamended biennial ownership report on file with the Commission that is still accurate and that was filed using the current version of Form 323-E to electronically validate and resubmit the Respondent’s previously filed biennial ownership report.  This enables the Respondent to simply certify that the information on its 2017 biennial ownership report is still accurate and reflects ownership interests existing as of October 1, 2019, without having to re-enter the data.

    When using the “Validate and Resubmit” function, the Respondent will be required to provide the file number assigned to its 2017 biennial ownership report and will not be permitted to make changes to the new report, except for the contact representative information and the final certification.  If additional changes are needed, the Respondent should NOT use the “Validate and Resubmit” function but instead should make use of the Form 323-E copying/prefilling capabilities within LMS to create the new report.  Please see the answer to Question 7 above for more information on using the Form 323-E copying/prefilling features.

  9.   What is an FRN and who is required to report one on Form 323-E?

    An FCC Registration Number (FRN) is a 10-digit number that is assigned to an individual or an entity by the FCC and is used, in part, to identify that individual or entity on FCC forms.  For purposes of identifying individuals and entities reported on Form 323-E, there are three types of FRNs: 1) A standard FRN obtained through the Commission’s Registration System (CORES) for use by an individual or entity (CORES FRN); 2) A Restricted Use FRN, which can also be obtained through CORES, but only for the purpose of reporting an individual (not an entity) on Form 323/323-E if that individual does not have a CORES FRN and is not a Licensee; and 3) A Special Use FRN (or SUFRN), which may be used to report an individual (not an entity) on Form 323-E only in certain limited circumstances as discussed below.

    A unique FRN must be provided on Form 323-E for each individual and entity reported on the form.  See the FCC Form 323-E Instructions and the FAQs below for more guidance on FRN usage.

  10.   How do I obtain a standard CORES FRN for an individual or an entity?

    Please visit the FCC’s CORES website, at https://apps.fcc.gov/cores/userLogin.do, to register an individual or entity for a standard CORES FRN.  Generally, you will need to provide the Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) of the individual or entity in order to obtain a standard CORES FRN for that individual or entity.  The TIN is kept confidential and cannot be viewed by the public.  However, in limited circumstances, a standard CORES FRN may be obtained without providing a TIN for the individual or entity.  For assistance with standard CORES FRN registration, please contact the FCC Licensing Hotline at (877) 480-3201, Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 6:00 pm ET, or submit a help request online at https://esupport.fcc.gov/request.htmRemember, if an individual or entity is reported on multiple ownership reports, a single FRN must be used consistently to report that individual or entity on all of the reports.  Filers should coordinate with each other as necessary to ensure consistent reporting of FRNs for individuals and entities that appear on multiple ownership reports.  Licensees and attributable entities must always be reported with a standard CORES FRN, but as discussed below, an individual may be reported with a Restricted Use FRN or a Special Use FRN if the individual isn’t a Licensee and does not have a CORES FRN.

  11.   How do I obtain a Restricted Use FRN for an individual?

    The Restricted Use FRN is available for use only on Form 323/323-E and only for individuals who are not Licensees and do not have a standard CORES FRN.  To obtain a Restricted Use FRN, please visit the FCC’s updated CORES website.  Note:  Restricted Use FRN registration is available only in the updated CORES, which requires a username and password for each account.  Where appropriate, multiple standard CORES FRNs and Restricted Use FRNs can be managed within a single CORES username account.  Please be sure to use the link provided above to access the updated CORES website.

    On the updated CORES website, enter a username and password to log in to an existing CORES username account, or register for a new username account.  Once you have logged in, select “Register New FRN,” and then select the radio button next to “An Individual.”  On the next page, select “Restricted Use FRN Registration.”  On the Restricted Use FRN Registration page, you need to provide the individual’s 1) full name; 2) residential address; 3) date of birth; and 4) only the last four digits of the individual’s Social Security Number.  Only the individual’s full name and Restricted Use FRN will be displayed publicly on the CORES website.  The rest of the identifying information is stored confidentially in CORES.  For technical assistance with Restricted Use FRN registration, please contact the FCC Licensing Hotline at (877) 480-3201, Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 6:00 pm ET, or submit a request online at https://esupport.fcc.gov/request.htm.

    Remember, a standard CORES FRN must be used to report an individual on Form 323/323-E if the individual already has a standard CORES FRN or if the individual is a Licensee.  Otherwise, an individual may register for and report only one Restricted Use FRN, and the Restricted Use FRN may be used only on Form 323/323-E.  If a person is reported on multiple ownership reports, a single FRN must be used consistently to report that person on all of the reports.  Filers should coordinate with each other as necessary to ensure consistent reporting of FRNs for individuals and entities that appear on multiple ownership reports.

  12.   Who can report a Special Use FRN on Form 323-E? Are there any special requirements regarding the use of Special Use FRNs on Form 323-E?

    For each individual reported on Form 323-E, the Respondent must provide a standard CORES FRN, a Restricted Use FRN, or a Special Use FRN.  (As discussed above, all entities must be reported with a standard CORES FRN; entities cannot be reported with a Restricted Use FRN or a Special Use FRN.)  Below is guidance for reporting Special Use FRNs on Form 323-E.  (A different standard applies to the use of Special Use FRNs on Form 323 for commercial broadcast stations.  For guidance on reporting Special Use FRNs on Form 323, please click here for the Biennial Form 323 FAQs.)

    First, if an individual already has a standard CORES FRN or a Restricted Use FRN, the Respondent must report that existing FRN for the individual.  If an individual does not have a standard CORES FRN or a Restricted Use FRN, and you wish to report a Special Use FRN for the individual, please determine if a Special Use FRN has been reported previously for that individual.  To do so, you should review a previously filed Form 323/323-E on which the individual was reported.  (You may use the search function discussed in Question 16 below to pull a list of Form 323/323-E filings on which the individual’s name appears.)  If the individual was previously reported with a Special Use FRN, you should use the existing Special Use FRN to report the individual on Form 323-E.  (Special Use FRNs begin with “999”.)  If you discover that multiple Special Use FRNs were reported for the individual, please pick one and be sure to use it consistently going forward.  When using an existing Special Use FRN for the first time on the LMS version of Form 323-E, you will need to enter the name of the individual you are reporting with the Special Use FRN.  To do so, click the “Edit Special Use FRN” link on the Add Ownership Interests page of Form 323-E in LMS and enter the name of the individual for whom the Special Use FRN is being reported.

    If you need to create a new Special Use FRN for an individual, you may do so by clicking the “Create Special Use FRN” link on the Add Ownership Interests page of Form 323-E in LMS.  You will be prompted to enter a name, which will then be pre-filled each time the Special Use FRN is validated on Form 323/323-E.

    If you need to correct or update the name associated with a Special Use FRN (e.g., to reflect a change to the individual’s legal name), you may do so by clicking the “Edit Special Use FRN” link. The Edit Special Use FRN functionality is intended to accommodate updates needed to reflect changes to an individual’s legal name or to correct an error.  

    Special Use FRNs may be used only as discussed above for individuals (not entities) reported on Form 323/323-E and not for any other purpose.  If a person is reported on multiple ownership reports, a single FRN must be used to report that person on all of the reports.  Filers should coordinate with each other as necessary to ensure consistent reporting of FRNs for individuals and entities that appear on multiple ownership reports.

    Form 323-E filers should also review the FCC Form 323-E Instructions for guidance on FRN usage.

  13.   How should I report the percentage of votes, equity, and total assets held by an attributable interest holder?

    Percentages reported on Form 323-E must be rounded to the first decimal place.  For example, a filer should report an attributable interest holder’s 35.66% voting interest in the Respondent as 35.7.  Similarly, a 100% equity interest in the Respondent should be reported as 100.0, and a 0% equity interest should be reported as 0.0.

    If an interest holder holds an attributable interest in the Respondent solely pursuant to the Commission’s Equity Debut Plus standard, report the interest holder’s percentage of total assets (Equity Debt Plus) in the field provided.  Otherwise, leave the total assets (Equity Debt Plus) field blank.  For more guidance on the Equity Debt Plus standard, please review the FCC Form 323-E Instructions and Section 73.3555, Note 2(i) of the Commission’s rules.

  14.   How should a trust be reported on Form 323-E?

    A trust should be reported as an entity, not as an individual.  Accordingly, a trust with an attributable interest in the Licensee must obtain and be reported with a standard CORES FRN on Form 323-E.  (A trust that does not have a Taxpayer Identification Number may obtain a standard CORES FRN by selecting “Exempted Activities” on the list of exemptions in CORES.)  In addition, the trust must also file a separate Form 323-E as a non-Licensee Respondent, and the trustees (but not the beneficiaries) must be listed in the Ownership Interests section of the Form 323-E ownership report filed by the trust.

  15.   If an individual or entity has attributable interests in additional broadcast stations that aren’t covered by this Form 323-E filing, do I need to list those other broadcast interests on the filing?

    Filers are no longer required to list each broadcast station in which an interest holder (other than the Respondent) listed on Form 323-E has an attributable interest.  Instead, filers must select radio buttons on the relevant subform to indicate whether an interest holder reported on that subform also has an attributable interest in one or more broadcast stations other than those covered by the Respondent’s ownership report.

  16.   Where can I obtain a copy of a Form 323-E filing in LMS if I do not know the file number or the FRN and password that the filer used to log in to LMS to prepare the filing?

    The Media Bureau has implemented a specialized ownership report search within LMS that enables filers and other interested persons to search LMS for Form 323/323-E filings using multiple criteria, including call sign, facility ID number, name, and/or FRN, among other things.  The specialized ownership report search is available via the LMS public search webpage, https://enterpriseefiling.fcc.gov/dataentry/public/tv/publicSearchLanding.html.

Bureau/Office: 
Tags: 

Updated: 
Thursday, November 7, 2019