Requirement for Irish companies to register beneficial owners by electronic information transfer

This is a requirement introduced by the European Union Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive, which, among other things, requires all EU member States to have created a central register of beneficial owners.

Press Release (ePRNews.com) - DUBLIN, Ireland - May 26, 2017 - From June all Irish registered companies must send details of their beneficial owners, i.e. natural persons who director or indirectly hold more than 25% of the shares, voting rights or controlling interest of a company, by electronic transfer to the newly appointed Registrar of Beneficial Ownership of Companies and Industrial and Provident Societies.

This is a requirement introduced by the European Union Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive, which, among other things, requires all EU member States to have created a central register of beneficial owners, by 26th June, 2017.

There will be a three month deadline set for complying with this requirement i.e. by 26th September, 2017. Noncompliance will be deemed a criminal offence and subject to fines of up to €5,000 and test prosecutions are expected.

At this stage, all the indications are that in Ireland the information can only be sent electronically through an, as yet to be released, online portal. And the likelihood is that the Irish Companies Registration Office (“CRO”) will be tasked with maintaining the Irish register of Beneficial Owners.

To assist Irish companies in their preparation work to comply with this requirement, Mr Sean Kavanagh, Managing Director of Company Formations International Ltd (CFI), announces the availability on the CFI web site of a free online Irish Factsheet covering the obligations and legal requirements of this new EU directive. This factsheet can be downloaded immediately from: http://www.formations.ie/static/RegisterofBeneficialOwner…

In the vast majority of cases the legal owners and the beneficial owners of companies will be the same. As such, the information will be contained in the subject company’s Statutory Books/Register of Members. In cases where the beneficial owners are not the direct legal owners, there is an obligation on the Company to notify each person whom it believes to be a beneficial owner of the particulars which the Company already holds on that individual and ask them to confirm the contents.

Where Beneficial Owners cannot, after all reasonable efforts, be identified, the names of the ‘senior managing officials’ i.e. Directors must be entered.

Such is the seriousness with which this matter is viewed, it has been suggested that a division of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau, with assistance from the CRO in the form of lists of non-compliant companies, will play a role in its enforcement.

For a Factsheet containing further information click on the link above.

Source : Company Formations International Ltd
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