KYB (Know Your Business)

The flow for verifying business entities is similar to verifying individuals but with a few more steps.

Know your customer, alternatively known as Know your client or KYC, is the process whereby a business verifies the identity of its clients and assesses their suitability, along with the potential risks of illegal intentions towards the business relationship.

Sila is required to perform KYC validation on all end-users of any app that uses the Sila API, which usually involves checking an individual user's SSN, street address, etc. Registered users who have not passed KYC requirements are not enabled to transact on the Sila platform.

Sila is able to support KYC on individual end-users and KYB (Know Your Business) on business end-users.

Similar to individual users and the KYC requirements, registered businesses are not able to transact on the Sila platform until such time that they meet their respective KYB requirements.

Business Members and Roles

Business Membership
Customers are able to associate members with a business using the /link_business_member endpoint. Members must be individual end-users and are allowed to have multiple roles, described below. Only one role can be linked at a time through the /link_business_member endpoint.

Businesses also must have a controlling officer linked before requesting KYC. If there is only one controlling officer linked, that member cannot be unlinked until another controlling officer is linked.


A Note On Business Membership

Any person linked to a business must be verified individually using a their residential/home address and personal phone number. An individual should not be registered using business credentials, as this can cause problems with verifying them in their own KYC process.

Business Roles

KYB requires that the ownership structure of a business be expressed in such a way that the identity of beneficial owners and controlling officers can be related back to the business. In order to clarify this relationship, this API defines several business roles. Currently there are three roles defined:

RoleRequiredRequires KYC
AdministratorAll Business TypesNo
Controlling OfficerAll Business TypesYes
Beneficial OwnerSee table belowYes

Controlling Officers must be a principal of the company with the authority to bind the company specifically by delegation in the company’s organizational documents (or by action of the board, voting members, partners, etc.). In other words, Controlling Officers are individuals with leadership positions and have the ability to sign contracts for the business.

  • The same user can have multiple roles in the business so the Administrator and Controlling Officer can be the same user.
  • The Administrator must be used to certify the other business users, so you have to link them prior to the Controlling Officer.

    See KYB Endpoint Flow below.

Beneficial Owners are those with a 25%+ stake in the business.

All business types must have an Administrator and a Controlling Officer. The need for a Beneficial Owner varies by business type:

Business TypeBeneficial Owner Required?
Sole proprietorshipNot required
TrustNot required
Unincorporated AssociationNot required
Public CorporationNot required
Partnershiprequired for > 25% ownership
Non-Profitrequired for > 25% ownership
LPrequired for > 25% ownership
LLPrequired for > 25% ownership
LLCrequired for > 25% ownership
Corporationrequired for > 25% ownership

KYB Endpoint Flow

  1. Get valid business types to choose from /get_business_types endpoint.
  2. Get valid NAICS codes to register from /get_naics_categories endpoint.
  3. Register a business with business type and correct NAICS code at the /register endpoint. Separately, register individuals who are controlling officers, beneficial owners, and/or “administrators” who will serve to certify that business data and ownership stakes are correct.
  4. Get valid business roles to register business members (a controlling officer and an “administrator” to certify information are required for all; some businesses may have beneficial owners) from the /get_business_roles endpoint.
  5. Link all required business members with the /link_business_member endpoint.
  6. Unlink any business members as necessary with the /unlink_business_member endpoint.
  7. Request KYC for the business with the /request_kyc endpoint. (Linked individuals will automatically go through individual KYC when this is done.)
  8. Check KYC with the /check_kyc endpoint or subscribe to a webhook to get current verification status.
  9. If business needs certification, get list of members needing certification from /check_kyc (could be 0 if there are no beneficial owners). If a business does not require certification, it can skip the remaining steps and transact immediately.
  10. For each beneficial owner requiring certification, check the /get_entity endpoint’s response and get certification token. Pass this certification token received from /get_entity response to the /certify_beneficial_owner endpoint.
  • certification_token:null is the expected response for the controlling_officer
  • certification_token is only non-null if the user is granted the beneficial_owner role and the user is verified
  1. When all beneficial owners are certified, call the /certify_business endpoint.

New members can still be linked and unlinked after verification and certification. However, if a beneficial owner is linked or unlinked, an expiration date will be set on the business certification. Within 30 days, any new beneficial owners should be individually certified and the overall business certified or the business will lose the ability to transact. Certification expiration and members requiring beneficial owner certification can be checked at the /check_kyc endpoint.

What’s Next

The following are secondary endpoint that are used in conjunction with the /request_kyc endpoint for ID Verification of a business entity.