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New rules on Beneficial Ownership Register for Companies and Legal Entities – what do I need to do?

20 February 2017

On 15 November 2016, the Department of Finance published the European Union (Anti-Money Laundering: Beneficial Ownership of Corporate Entities) Regulations 2016. The Regulations require companies and other legal entities incorporated in Ireland to take all reasonable steps to hold adequate, accurate and current information on their ‘beneficial owners’ on an internal beneficial ownership register as and from 15 November 2016.

What do I need to do know?
As the Regulations apply with effect from 15 November 2016 and there are no savers or transitional periods, entities in scope must now:

  • Establish an internal register of their beneficial owners
  • Where the beneficial owners are not known, take ‘all reasonable steps’ to ensure the beneficial ownership information is obtained and entered on the beneficial ownership register
  • Where no beneficial owners can be identified, enter the names of the senior managers (including the directors and CEO) of the relevant entity on the beneficial ownership register as the ‘beneficial owners’

A beneficial owner is an individual who ultimately owns or controls the relevant entity through direct or indirect ownership of a sufficient percentage of the shares or voting rights or ownership interest in the relevant entity. A shareholding of 25% plus one share, or an ownership interest of more than 25%, will be evidence of ownership or control.

View more information on the Regulations and their requirements.