Business Registrations and Licensing Agency (BRELA) extended the time for submission of information on beneficial ownership of shares for 12 months to 31 December 2021 and gave Notice in April 2021 that it was in the last stages of completing the Companies (Beneficial Ownership) Regulations to specify the modality of submission and keeping of Beneficial Ownership information.
The Companies (Beneficial Ownership) Regulations 2021 were duly published on 14 May 2021 and, amongst other things, they require a company to submit to the BRELA Registrar particulars of its beneficial ownership.
“Beneficial owner” is defined as “a natural person:
- who directly or indirectly ultimately owns or exercises substantial control over an entity or an arrangement;
- who has a substantial economic interest in or receives substantial economic benefit from an entity or an arrangement directly or indirectly whether acting alone or together with other persons;
- on whose behalf an arrangement is conducted; or
- who exercises significant control or influence over a person or arrangement through a formal or informal agreement.”
Where default is made in complying with the provisions of this regulation within the prescribed time, the company and every officer, shareholder and beneficial owner of the company who is in default shall be jointly and severally liable to a late filing fee as prescribed in the Companies (Fees Payable to Registrar) Regulations.
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