Since the end of 2019, companies and other legal entities, such as A(I)SBLs, trusts and similar legal constructions must disclose the identity of their beneficial owners in the UBO (Ultimate Beneficial Owners) register. A new Royal Decree of 23 September 2020 now requires more precise information.
For indirect beneficial owners (where a legal entity is between the “natural person” beneficial owner, whose identity must be disclosed, and the legal entity making the UBO declaration), the percentage of shares or voting rights of each intermediary entity must be specified (previously, only the percentage of shares or voting rights held by a Belgian company had to be specified).
For beneficial owners of the second category, i.e. those who control a Belgian company through “other means” than shareholdings or voting rights, it becomes mandatory to specify by which other means such Belgian company are controlled.
In addition, all reporting entities will be required to provide documents certifying that the information relating to such beneficial owners is adequate, accurate and up to date. Such documents may be, as determined by the information provider, an extract from the share register, the articles of association of the company, the non-profit association, the trust or similar legal construction, a shareholders’ agreement, a notarial deed or any other document (legalized if it originates from a third country). Access to these documents is limited to the competent authorities and is not available to the general public.
Information providers who registered their UBOs before October 11, 2020 have until April 30, 2021 at the latest to download these documents. Those who register their UBOs as from October 11, 2020 must download these documents upon registration.
For more information on that subject, feel free to contact Guillaume RUE esq. (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Cairn Legal team.