eFile Instructions

Instructions for using the BEA eFile system

Welcome to BEA’s eFile system

eFile is BEA’s electronic filing system. For all BEA surveys except the BE-13 and the BE-150, the eFile system makes use of fillable Adobe PDF forms. The system enables reporters to download the survey forms in PDF format for each reportable entity, enter the required data, save the data, and submit the forms securely to BEA. Respondents must have access to the Internet and Adobe Acrobat Reader version 7.0 or newer or Adobe Acrobat Professional version 7.0 or newer in order to use eFile. You can download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader for free from http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html.

Step 1: Create a User Account
Create a user account here.

Step 2: Link a Survey to Your User Account
(For all surveys EXCEPT the BE-13. For specific instructions on submitting a BE-13 report, please click here or scroll down to the bottom of this page .)

Log in to your user account created in Step 1. On the User Account Homepage, link all surveys that you are responsible for.

  • Click on "Link a Survey".
  • On the next screen, eFile Link Request, provide the required information and click "Next Step".
  • Verify the information is correct and click "Submit Request."
  • After this request has been reviewed and approved by BEA staff, you’ll receive an email from BEA that indicates the survey is linked to your user account.
  • The survey will be linked to your user account and you will see it under the "Linked Surveys" section of your eFile User Account Homepage.

Step 3: Select a Survey to File
To begin entering data on a survey, select that survey from the "Linked Surveys" section of your eFile User Account Page.

Step 4: Select a Filing Period
Select the period that you are filing for from the Survey Homepage. On the Report Homepage, update the contact information, if applicable. (Please note that any changes made to the contact information may not appear on the PDF until it has been reviewed by BEA staff).

Step 5: Download the PDF Form
Download the PDF forms—you must download the forms one at a time. You must download a form for each entity being reported. With the exception of surveys that allow consolidation (such as the BE-45), even if two separate entities are to be filed using the same form type, you must download different copies of the form. There are identifiers built into each form which uniquely identify the entity being reported (even for newly added affiliates). Read the survey instructions carefully to find out when consolidation is allowed. When you click the button to download the form, you will see an option to save the form or open it. Choose OPEN. The form will then open up in your Adobe Acrobat software. We recommend that you work in the Adobe Acrobat software to complete the form. Note: We do NOT recommend working in the web browser. If your form opens up in a browser window, save it to your PC, then open your Adobe Acrobat software and open the file there. Working in the browser may cause you to lose data you have entered.

Step 6: Enter Data into the PDF Form
Enter your data into the PDF form. Some forms allow you to run a check of the entered data by clicking on the "Run Error Checks" button located on the first page. This check performs basic mathematical verification of certain data items (e.g. line 8 must = lines 4 + 5). You are not required to correct these errors identified before submitting the form to BEA. There are also some automatic checks that will be run when you submit or save data. These checks may require correction before the form can be submitted or saved.

If you are using the free Adobe Reader software, you cannot save the data you enter by saving the form locally on your PC. You may, however, submit a partially completed form and return to it later by downloading the form again from the eFile website. When you download the form after a partial submission, all of your previously entered data will be filled in for you. If you edit the form, you must save/submit the data again before closing. The Reader software will give you a warning about saving data when you close the documents. Once you have submitted the completed form to BEA, you can download it and save it to your PC for your records.

Step 7: Save or Submit the PDF Form If at any point during the data entry process you need to stop working on the form, click on the “Save Data” button. Later, after you log back into eFile and download the PDF form again, all of your previously saved data will appear in the form. Continue entering data until you wish to save data again or submit your data to BEA.

You can submit your data to BEA in three ways. 1) You can click the ”Submit Data” button on each form. 2) You can click on the "Submit Saved Data" button for each form individually from the Form Homepage under Submission Status. 3) You can click on the "Submit All Saved Documents" button from the Form Homepage under Form Tools. The "Submit All Saved Documents" button will submit all of your saved data at once to BEA.

Step 8: Check the Status of the Submission
The status of all of your documents is shown on the Form Homepage under the Forms list. If you have submitted or saved documents since logging into the eFile system, you can update the status by clicking the "Update Submission Status" button which is under Form Tools. When you first submit a document, the submission status will say "Not Yet Processed". This will be updated to "Submission Confirmed, Thank You" after we download your data into our database. If you have saved data without submitting it, the submission status field will have a button to submit the saved data. You can submit a document multiple times. In most cases, we will process your latest submission and overwrite previous submissions. Other times we may contact you to verify changes made between submissions. Email efile@bea.gov if the submission status is not updated within 24 hours after a final submission.


You do not need an eFile ID and eFile password to file a BE-13. You only need a user account. If you do not have a user account please see Step 1 above. Unlike other BEA surveys, the BE-13 survey does not make use of Adobe PDF forms. Instead, BE-13 reports are filed using a web based form.

Step 2:
Click “Add a New BE-13 Report” form the User Account Homepage.

Step 3:
Determine which BE-13 report is applicable based on your circumstance, and click the button to file using that form.

Step 4:
To begin entering data on the new BE-13 survey, select that survey from the Surveys section of your eFile User Account Page and then select the period on the next page.

Step 5:
Click “Update Address” if applicable, to update contact information for this survey.

Step 6:
Provide the data as required. Click “Next Page.”

Step 7:
You can save and come back to your work at a later time by selecting “Save and Exit.” This will take you back to the BE-13 eFile and Secure Messaging page. To resume work on this report, simply click “Begin/Continue Working on This Form” on this page.

Step 8:
To submit your data, you must complete the entire form. After you have completed the last page, you can click the "Submit Data" button. Your data will not be used by BEA until you complete this step. Also, if you do not complete this step, we will not consider your survey submitted for compliance purposes.