Domestic companies/associations and partnerships have to register their beneficial owners

October 06, 2021

All domestic registered companies, partnerships and associations have to comply with the provisions of the Beneficial Ownership Act 2020, by 31st January 2022.

Under the Act, the entities will have to keep an up-to-date register of all their beneficial owners or shareholders, at all times, and the register should be maintained at the principal place of business of the resident agent.

A register will also be kept by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). Such information will be uploaded on a secured digital platform, which will be maintained by FIU. The information will be inputted by the resident agent.

The register should contain the following information;

  •        the name, residential address, service address, date of birth and nationality of each beneficial owner;
  •        details of each beneficial owner’s beneficial interest, as may be prescribed by regulations;
  •        the date on which a person became a beneficial owner;
  •        the date on which a person ceased to be a beneficial owner;
  •        where a nominee holds interest on behalf of the beneficial owner

The information will be accessible to only the authorities listed in the second schedule of the Act.

Speaking to the media on Tuesday 05th October 2021, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Trade, SS Patrick Payet, said even though registration of beneficial owners is a new concept for domestic businesses and associations, this should not be seen as an impediment.

“Their active participation can be an illustration of the country’s commitment made to the international community that we are serious in ensuring transparency and accountability.”

The competent authorities which will monitor and assess compliance with the Beneficial Ownership Act are:

  •        The FIU, in respect of domestic entities, being those entities referred to under Part A of the First Schedule of the Act.  This includes companies under the Companies Act, associations under the Associations Act, and partnerships under the Civil Code. 
  •        The FSA is the competent authority for the legal persons and arrangements under Part B of the First Schedule.

Below is the link to the Beneficial Ownership Act 2020.

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