UK Real Property Beneficial Ownership Registration
A new law from the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022, enforced by the Register of Overseas Entities, mandates that foreign companies that possess land or property in the UK must list their managing executives and/or beneficial owners.
The beneficial owner is an individual person, other legal entity, government or public authority that holds, directly or indirectly, 25% of shares or voting rights. The beneficial owner may also have the right to appoint a majority of directors or exercise significant influence over the company.
Overseas entities (OEs) who buy, sell or transfer property or land in the UK, must register with the Companies House and inform them who their registrable beneficial owners or managing officers are.
This law also applies retrospectively to OEs who bought land or property:
a) in England and Wales on or after January 01, 1999;
b) in Scotland on or after December 08, 2014; and
c) in Northern Ireland on or after August 01, 2022.
Those who do not comply may face penalties, such as limitations on their ability to purchase, sell, transfer, lease, or charge their land or other property in the UK. And that’s where Cogency Global can help.
COGENCY GLOBAL CAN:
- Assist Overseas Entities in registering their branch in the UK
- Act as the address for service of process for the Overseas Entity in England
- Assist OEs intending to acquire/dispose of UK property to identify registrable beneficial owners
- Collect registrable beneficial ownership information from OEs and update the information annually
- Act as the ‘relevant person’ for verifying the ownership information (need to register and obtain an agent assurance code)
- Conduct MLR and sanctions checks as required under the legislation
- Register with the Companies House and obtain Entity ID for UK property acquisition
- Act as the address for service of process for the Beneficial Owners in England (individuals and entities)
Don’t let this new wrinkle in UK property law frighten you. Better yet, trust a company that has years of experience dealing with foreign processes, including apostille and document authentication.
Get in touch with us.