new mandatory submission of supporting documents for ubo registration

Tax & Legal
29 October 2020

by Matthieu Vandevoorde

New mandatory submission of supporting documents for UBO registration

On 11 October 2020, it became a legal requirement to substantiate the accuracy and currency of information recorded in the UBO register regarding ultimate beneficial owners. This was previously a point of debate. A transition period is provided for entrepreneurs who already took action before this date.

New mandatory submission of supporting documents for UBO registration

What is the UBO register?

European directives resulted in an UBO register being implemented in Belgium in 2018. All entities active in Belgium must record their ultimate beneficial owners in this register. This obligation applies to both classic corporations and those that are not legal entities.

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Mandatory burden of proof from 11 October 2020

When the portal launched, the requirement to substantiate submitted input proved a point of debate. FPS Finances was forced to back down and permit the unsubstantiated registration of ultimate beneficial owners.

Since 11 October 2020, however, it is legally mandatory to demonstrate that registered information regarding ultimate beneficial owners is sufficient, accurate and current. The reporting agent is free to choose what documents to include as substantiation. This could be a copy of the company’s share register, shareholder agreement, notarial deed, articles of association, trust or other similar legal arrangement or documentation. Documents from other countries must be legalised.
The supporting documents are not publicly accessible. They may only be consulted by the competent authorities.

Transition period

Corporations, (international) non-profit organisations and foundations that already submitted UBO registration information before 11 October 2020 will have until 30 April 2021 to add the requested documents.