by Mathieu Roelens and Julie Vantomme
Under the influence of European directives, the UBO register is also becoming a fact of life in Belgium. This register, in which entities that are active in Belgium must include their 'ultimate beneficial owners' or 'final beneficiaries', must be completed by 30 November 2018 according to the long-awaited Royal Decree. As a result of an intervention by the FPS Finance, however, this deadline was postponed to 31 March 2019.
There are three categories of reporting agents. The companies are broadly interpreted here. For example, not only the traditional forms, but also the unincorporated companies such as the partnerships must appear in the register. Specifically, these are the following categories:
Of course, companies have seen the term UBO appear more frequently in the past. Banks, accountants, notaries and others have already approached them for this. UBO is officially defined as: 'the natural persons who are the ultimate owners of or have control over the company'. The identification of these persons happens step by step:
The Royal Decree provides for an entry into force on 31 October 2018. As mentioned above, September 30, 2018 is the ultimate deadline to fill in the necessary data. Afterwards, if a change takes place with regard to the UBO, this also has to be adjusted in the register within a month.
Although there originally was fairly limited access to the register, the starting position appears to have a very public character. The following persons have access to the register:
Citizens will only be able to search the UBOs of companies on the company itself (by name or company number). It is therefore not possible to enter the name of a natural person and thus to check which company or companies has/have that person as a UBO. Aside from that, access is also limited. The first name, the national register number, the exact date of birth and the address of the UBO cannot be consulted by citizens. Both the subject entities and citizens must pay for a search in the register.
In addition to the general company law fine of 400 to 40,000 euros, the specific legislation concerning the UBO register also provides for fines. The fines can vary between 250 and 50,000 and, like the company-law sanctions, are imposed on the directors themselves.
Because the deadline to do what's necessary is pretty close, get ready now. This way you can identify the UBOs with the help of the appendices in this article. In addition, it is also useful to check whether your managers have been correctly entered in the KBO. They, as well as other authorised representatives, will be able to fill in the UBO register for your company, association or trust.
As a result of an intervention by the FPS Finance, the previously proposed deadline of 30th November 2018 now no longer applies. The revised deadline is 30th September 2019. Your entity’s UBO(s) can be registered as of 1st October 2018 via MyMinfin. You can find the necessary information for completing this registration in our previously published article and in the accompanying attachments. Of course, our Vandelanotte specialists will also be happy to assist with the requisite steps.
We will, incidentally, be able to offer enhanced assistance from the end of October, when the option of providing a proxy is expected to be available. This external authorisation will enable you to call upon the services of Vandelanotte to perform all the necessary actions on your behalf, including registration in the UBO register itself.
Below you will find out for each category how you can determine who the UBO(s) is/are. You will also find out which information about the UBO will have to be provided. It's not yet possible to enter the necessary data in the UBO register. However, it is already known that it will take place via the online platform MyMinfin.
If you have any questions about this, you can always contact our specialists via firstname.lastname@example.org.
In our opinions, we rely on current legislation, interpretations and legal doctrine. This does not prevent the administration from disputing them or from changing existing interpretations.
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