New information: Unlisted companies registered on the Trade and Companies Register before 1 August 2017 must now submit a document identifying their beneficial owners to the court registry by 1 April 2018.

Unlisted companies registered on the Trade and Companies Register now have an obligation to disclose information about their beneficial owners. The term ‘Beneficial owner‘ refers to any individual natural person who either:

  • holds, directly or indirectly, over 25% of the company’s capital or voting rights;
  • exercises, by any other means, a supervisory power over the company’s management, administration or executive bodies or the share-holder AGM.

Companies must submit to the court registry a document, to be attached to their Trade and Companies Register entry, concerning their beneficial owners; this will contain their identities and personal addresses as well as a detailed explanation of how they exercise control over the company.

This document may then be communicated in response to any application from authorities or organisations involved in the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism (magistrates, customs officers, officials from the Directorate-General of Public Finance, financial institutions, etc.).

These provisions have been legally enforceable since 1 August 2017, but companies registered before this date have until 1 April 2018 to submit the document. A new document must be submitted within 30 days of any event that makes it necessary to change the information contained therein.

Decree 2017-1094 of 12 June 2017 on the register of beneficial owners.

Our recommendation: Please undertake all actions necessary to meet the 1 April 2018 deadline. Any person with a justified legal interest may make an application to the presiding judge to legally bind and order any company that has not submitted the document by the stated deadline, any failure to do so will lead to legal sanctions.