As of the 15th of November 2016, all Irish business owners or part-owners are required to create and maintain a list of the beneficial owners of the aforementioned business. This new order is in accordance with Statutory Instrument 560 of 2016. The new rule applies to all Irish companies, partnerships and all business entities whether publically listed or not.
A beneficial owner is defined as being a person who currently holds more than 25% of a business either directly or indirectly. This is a legal term wherein specific property rights belong to a person even when legal title of the property belongs to another person. Therefore even if you are not publically an owner of the business, if you hold more than 25% you will be required to be listed on this new document, the register of beneficial owners for the company.
The register of beneficial owners for the company must include for all parties:
Date of Birth
Nature and extent of interest and involvement with the company
Date entered into or removed from the register.
This new requirement will naturally take some time to implement accordingly, and we would advise all companies to ensure that this register is kept fully up to date with leaving and entering dates etc. to ensure that no issues arise in the future as a result of incomplete information.
It is also advised that the company issue letters to all those viewed as beneficial owners to inform them of this new register and to request the required information. It is essential to have a record of all endeavours to identify all beneficial owners and should they still be impossible to identify, the names of the directors and CEO must be entered on the Register.
The CRO will create a central register by the middle of 2017 so it is essential that all beneficial owners are reported to them before this time.
It is heavily advised that this be put in place as soon as possible as failure to comply can result in a fine of up to €5,000 being applicable to your business.
Should you have any concerns, queries or require further information on these or any other business and financial matters please don’t hesitate to contact us we are always available to help.