Register of Beneficial Ownership Now Live

12 Aug 2019

Following on from our June newsletter, the Register of Beneficial Ownership (RBO) is now live and all companies must now make their submissions to the RBO before November 22nd 2019.

The purpose of this Register is to improve corporate trust and transparency in both Ireland and the EU by making it clear to the relevant authorities and the public who ultimately owns and controls Irish Companies and other corporate entities. This is covered under EU Anti Money Laundering legislation.

What is Beneficial Ownership?

Under these EU provisions, a beneficial owner is set out as a natural person who ultimately controls or owns a company through direct or indirect ownership of a sufficient percentage of the shares or voting rights in the company or through control via other means such as shareholder agreements etc.

The sufficient percentage holding of either the shares or voting rights in a company is more than 25%.

Indirect ownership arises where one company is a subsidiary of another or a part of a group of companies, which is ultimately controlled by a natural person. In these cases, the natural person who owns the shares or holds the voting rights in the parent company is listed as the beneficial owner of the subsidiary.

Making the submission

The submission is made on a new website – www.rbo.gov.ie. Here an online form is filled out and a number of details for each beneficial owner are required such as name, address, PPS Number, details on the extent of their ownership/control.

Where a beneficial owner is identified but does not have a PPS number, a separate sworn declaration of identity (BEN 2 Form) must be included with the submission.

Every company is obliged to make the submission, even in circumstances where no individuals have more than a 25% shareholding. In that situation, the details of the senior managing officials (directors/CEO) are included on the submission. 

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