The Register of Overseas Entities came into force in the UK on 1 August 2022 through the new Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022.
The register will be maintained by Companies House. Any overseas entity which owns UK property will need to register with Companies House provide details of the individuals who ultimately hold or control 25 per cent of the shares and therefore have a significant influence on voting. individuals will be able to protect their information from public disclosure under certain circumstances.
From 1 August 2022 any new purchases of land by an overseas entity will need to be registered.
For those entities which already owned land on or after 28 February 2022 they will have to register their beneficial owners by 31 January 2023
After registering the entity will be given an ID number. This ID number will be provided to the land registry when registering any new land purchases, lease etc. So before any new purchases can be registered at the land registry the entity first needs to be registered with Companies House.
Before an overseas entity registers on the new Register of Overseas Entities, a UK agent will need to verify the details of the owners. These verification checks must be carried out by a UK-based agent that’s supervised under the UK’s anti-Money Laundering regulations, such as accountant and solicitors.
The information on the Register will be required to be updated annually. The process will work in much the same way as a Confirmation Statement for UK companies.
Penalties for not registering could include fines of up to £2,500 per day or a prison sentence of up to five years.