Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

DEFINITION of 'Foreign Corrupt Practices Act'

A United States law passed in 1977 which prohibits U.S. firms and individuals from paying bribes to foreign officials in furtherance of a business deal and against the foreign official's duties. The FCPA places no minimum amount for a punishment of a bribery payment. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act also specifies required accounting transparency guidelines.

BREAKING DOWN 'Foreign Corrupt Practices Act'

While the act requires corrupt intent, it is better to err on the side of caution when dealing with a foreign official for business matters. Punishments allowable under the act include fines of up to double the amount of the benefit expected to be received from the bribery. In addition, the individuals involved can face imprisonment for up to five years.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Kickback

    The payment of something of value to an individual with the goal ...
  2. Foreign Sales Corporation - FSC

    A defunct provision in the U.S. federal income tax code which ...
  3. Key Money

    A payment made to a building owner, manager or landlord by a ...
  4. Foreign

    1. A non-U.S. company with securities trading on the North American ...
  5. Globalization

    The tendency of investment funds and businesses to move beyond ...
  6. Bribe

    An illegal payment from one party to another, usually in return ...
Related Articles
  1. Retirement

    Pages From The Bad CEO Playbook

    Excess compensation, golden parachutes, tunneling and IPO spinning make these bad executives even worse.
  2. Active Trading Fundamentals

    Giants of Finance: Charles Dow

    Find out how this financial visionary helped everyday people enter the world of finance.
  3. Personal Finance

    Early Monopolies: Conquest And Corruption

    This structure can be very effective, but it is also known for its abuse of power.
  4. Investing Basics

    Why Country Funds Are So Risky

    High returns come at a price, but country funds may still be a good bet.
  5. Budgeting

    Low-Income Households to Get Broadband Subsidy

    The FCC's recently approved broadband subsidy for low-income households should help many people get online. Not that everyone's in favor of it.
  6. Retirement

    Laws That Help Low Income Retirement

    If you're retired – or about to be – and money is tight, look to these programs and other benefits for help should you need it.
  7. Savings

    Check for Lost Property Now – Before a State Grabs It

    You may be richer than you think. There are billions in unclaimed funds in the U.S. Here's how to determine whether some of that money is yours.
  8. Taxes

    Owe Taxes? You Could Lose Your Passport

    A rule slipped into a transportation bill allows the U.S. government to revoke your passport if your tax debt exceeds $50k. Here’s what it all means.
  9. Taxes

    All You Need to Know About Tax Havens

    These tax-free zones might sound appealing, but the consequences often aren't.
  10. Stock Analysis

    How Youku Tudou Replaced Pirating in China (YOKU)

    Learn how Youku Tudou helped gradually stamp down video piracy in China, using methods such as lawsuits and the utilization of technology.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What exactly is insider trading?

    An "insider" is any person who possesses at least one of the following: 1) access to valuable non-public information about ... Read Answer >>
  2. What is the Writ of Mandamus?

    Learn how the powerful, but rarely used, court-ordered writs of mandamus can end an injustice and force someone, or a public ... Read Answer >>
  3. Are UTMA accounts escheatable?

    Find out whether your UTMA account can be escheated, the basics of escheatment and who is responsible for maintaining account ... Read Answer >>
  4. Can the IRS audit you after a refund?

    Learn how the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can conduct a tax audit even after a taxpayer was issued a tax refund in ... Read Answer >>
  5. How does escheatment impact a company?

    Find out how escheatment can impact a company's bottom line, including what kinds of assets are at risk and what the penalties ... Read Answer >>
  6. What happens if property is wrongfully escheated?

    Find out what happens if your financial assets, such as checking and savings accounts or investment portfolios, are wrongfully ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Keynesian Economics

    An economic theory of total spending in the economy and its effects on output and inflation. Keynesian economics was developed ...
  2. Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications ...

    A member-owned cooperative that provides safe and secure financial transactions for its members. Established in 1973, the ...
  3. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles - GAAP

    The common set of accounting principles, standards and procedures that companies use to compile their financial statements. ...
  4. DuPont Analysis

    A method of performance measurement that was started by the DuPont Corporation in the 1920s. With this method, assets are ...
  5. Call Option

    An agreement that gives an investor the right (but not the obligation) to buy a stock, bond, commodity, or other instrument ...
  6. Economies Of Scale

    Economies of scale is the cost advantage that arises with increased output of a product. Economies of scale arise because ...
Trading Center