Since January 2018, legal entities entered in the public register and trust funds entered in the trust fund register have been obliged to state their ultimate beneficial owners in the newly established Register. The aforementioned obligation applies not only to business corporations and trust funds, but also associations, foundations, institutes, religious societies and other legal entities.
The ultimate beneficial owner is always a certain natural person or, as the case may be, several natural persons who are factually or legally able to exercise decisive influence in a legal entity, trust fund or other legal arrangement without legal personality. In principle, in accordance with the assumptions laid down in the act on certain measures against the legalization of proceeds from crime and financing of terrorism (“AML Act”), it is necessary to identify the ultimate beneficial owner and to provide the current data to ascertain and verify his/her identity, including data or other reasons indicating why that person is considered to be the ultimate beneficial owner. Such data should be kept up to date.
The Register is kept by register courts and it is not considered to be a public register, so the data contained therein will not be published nor provided together with a copy of the registration from a public register, and will only be accessible to a restricted group of persons determined by the law. It is important to know that the registration is exempt from court fees and is, therefore, free of charge only for a period of one year, i.e. until 1 January 2019. The same deadline has also been set for the fulfilment of the obligation of the legal entities (companies) registered in the Commercial Register. Other legal entities registered in other public registers must enter their ultimate beneficial owner by 1 January 2021.
Although the law does not impose any sanction for failure to comply with the obligation, in view of the obligations imposed by the AML Act, especially for financial institutions, failure to enter the ultimate beneficial owner would make it very problematic to use, for example, some banking products and other financial services. It is also for this reason that we recommend making the entry this year.
If you want to ensure (and don’t forget that the possibility of a registration relieved from a court-fee is time-limited) a faultless registration of your entity in the Register or if you want to find out more details about the facts to be registered, the registration process, the performance of statutory obligations etc., please contact us via e-mail on email@example.com or via phone on +420 221 506 300 – our specialists will be happy to help you.