On 1 August 2022 the Register of Overseas Entities was launched. This requires Overseas Entities, including Overseas Partnerships, Companies and Trusts that acquired land and property in England or Wales after 1 January 1999 to register and disclose details of their beneficial owners. Scotland and Northern Ireland have separate registers.
What you need to know
- Offshore Trusts, Offshore registered or incorporated Companies, Offshore Partnerships, and Offshore Nominees are all ‘Overseas Entities’ caught by these new rules.
- If an Overseas Entity is intending to buy land or property, they will need to register before they buy the property.
- Any Overseas Entities that have sold interests in land after 28 February 2022, are also required to comply with the new legislation by 31 January 2023.
- Trustees and Directors who do not comply will face fines of up £2,500 a day, and/or imprisonment.
- Registration with Companies House by the Overseas Entity requires provision of information about the Overseas Entity as well as the ultimate beneficial owners, or Managing Partner if there are no ultimate beneficial owners. Disclosure required by Trusts is even more extensive.
- The information given to Companies House must be verified by a UK Supervised ’relevant person’ – the definition of which includes accountants, lawyers, financial institutions, and tax advisors. Supervised Agents are required to be registered with Companies House.
- The verification steps are onerous, and Supervised Agents will be liable to civil and criminal sanctions if they certify incorrect disclosures, so directors and trustees of Overseas Entities need to be prepared to provide additional or updated information to allow their Supervised Agent to make the correct disclosures.
- Once the information required is filed and verified, the Overseas Entity will be supplied with an Identifying Code by Companies House, and the Entity’s details will be published on a register the public can access for up to two years.
The objective is transparency of ownership of land and property in the UK, and only in limited scenarios will ’protected status’ be granted to avoid information appearing on the public record.
Blick Rothenberg has registered as a Supervised Agent and will assist clients in complying with this new requirement. However, due to the risks involved we are only providing this service to our clients.
Would you like to know more?
If you wish to discuss this matter further, please get in touch with your usual Blick Rothenberg contact, Heather Powell or Chris Gillman using the details on this page or on the form below.