UBO register, you have time until 30 September
In the UBO register all ultimate beneficiaries or ultimate beneficial owners of companies should register themselves. By doing so, they should provide a number of information about the underlying private individuals. Since the site where the users could register took longer than expected, the registration deadline is again postponed. The new date is 30 September 2019.
Ultimate beneficial owner or ultimate beneficiary
UBO stands for ultimate beneficial owner. This is the ultimate beneficiary of a company or another legal entity. Think of trusts, foundations and (international) not for profit organisations. The UBO is the private individual behind the company, e.g. the shareholder.
With this register, the government wants to know who these individuals behind these legal entities are. Therefore, the administration of the Treasury of the Tax Authorities collects, keeps, manages and controls the data of the ultimate beneficiaries.
This scheme is drafted at European level and follows the fourth anti money laundering directive of the European Union. The UBO register fits into the international battle against fraud and money laundering.
Which legal persons and entities?
Are subject to the registration duty:
Companies, but also unincorporated entities such as a partnership under the ordinary law.
Associations and trusts.
Trustees and fiduciary managers.
Who is mentioned in the register?
For every entity subject to the scheme, one or more private individuals should be reported in the UBO register as ultimate beneficiary. Normally, these are the shareholders holding 25% or more of the shares. Additionally, it can concern also board members or other de facto managers.
Which information should be reported?
For each ultimate beneficiary, the following information should be reported in the UBO register:
Name and given name.
Date of birth.
Country of residence.
Date when he/she became ultimate beneficiary of the given entity.
Category/categories of person(s). Is he/she shareholder, director, manager?
Does he/she occupies this function alone, or together with other persons?
Is he a direct or indirect ultimate beneficiary? In case it concerns an indirect ultimate beneficiary, who are the intermediaries? (with all identification data of the intermediaries)
The size of the ultimate share in the entity, e.g. percentage of the shares or voting rights.
We already mentioned that the scheme is based on a European directive. This means that in case the ultimate beneficiary is already registered in a similar register in another member state, it is not necessary again in the Belgian UBO register. In this case, the beneficiary should provide a copy of the information to the administration of the Treasury.
Report by 30 September 2019
Note down 30 September 2019. Ultimately at that date all information should be communicated for the first time to the UBO register. When changes occur, you always have a period of one month to update the register.
Companies, associations and other entities not complying with their legal obligation can be fined between 250€ and 50.000€. The administrative fines are imposed after the involved is heard, or at least properly summoned.
Who has access to the UBO register?
The register is freely accessible. This means that next to the government and the entities which should report their information, every citizen and legal person can consult the register.
However, for common citizens and organisations some constraints apply:
They should have a legitimate interest. You cannot browse the register without any reason.
They cannot see all information, they do not have access (due to privacy reasons) to the national registration number and address of the ultimate beneficiaries.
The ultimate beneficiary can ask to hide some information in the register, e.g. since there is a disproportional risk of fraud, kidnapping, extortion, harassment, violence or intimidation or when the ultimate beneficiary is a minor.