The Register of Beneficial Owners goes Live

September 2019

Earlier in June, we discussed the obligations on companies under the European Union (Anti-Money Laundering: Beneficial Ownership of Corporate Entities) Regulations 2019 (“the Regulations”) to identify and maintain a register of the company’s Beneficial Owners. You can find the article here.

Since then, the new Central Register for Beneficial Owners (“the Central Register”) has gone live. On 22 June 2019, the website of the Central Register of Beneficial Ownership was launched and began accepting details of Beneficial Owners. You may also have been contacted directly by the Companies Registration Office to advise you of your obligations under the Regulations.

How do you determine who the Beneficial Owners are?

In order to determine who the Beneficial Owners of a company are, the Regulations require you to identify the person(s) who ultimately control or own the company, whether directly or indirectly.

A person will be deemed to be a Beneficial Owner if they meet the following criteria:

  • Ownership (directly or indirectly) of more than 25% of the company/society’s shares
  • Control (directly or indirectly) of more than 25% of the company/society’s voting rights
  • Control via other means such as through a shareholders’ agreement or their role in the company

You must keep records to show that you have taken all reasonable steps to identify the relevant person(s) and this is particularly important if you have difficulty identifying who ultimately is the Beneficial Owner.

What details will be required to make a filing?

When filing the details of a Beneficial Owner in the Central Register, the following details must be provided:

  • Name, date of birth, nationality and residential address of each beneficial owner
  • A statement of the nature of the interest held or the nature of control exercised by a beneficial owner
  • The PPS number (where applicable) of each beneficial owner

What are your next steps in order to ensure compliance?

If your company was incorporated prior to the 22 June 2019 then the deadline for filing details of your company’s Beneficial Owners is 22 November 2019. If your company was incorporated after 22 June 2019, you have 5 months form the date of incorporation to file the details of your company’s Beneficial Owners.

If you have any questions about your obligations or need assistance with determining who the Beneficial Owners are, please get in touch with your usual Whitney Moore contact,  Mark Ryan, Fiona Brennan or any member of our Corporate team.