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Majority of companies have not registered beneficial ownership

Nov 17, 2019
As part of measures to tackle white collar crime and money laundering, the vast majority of companies incorporated in Ireland are required to submit information on their beneficial owners to the Register of Beneficial Ownership of Companies (RBO) by 22 November or risk significant fines. However, based on figures released by the Registrar, only about 21% of companies have done so, according to law firm Mason Hayes and Curran.

Under the regulations, companies and certain other types of bodies corporate which were incorporated on or before 22 June 2019 have until 22 November 2019 to submit information on their beneficial owners to the new central register. Newer bodies have five months from incorporation.

Fines for companies failing to properly keep a register, or to comply with requests from authorities, will be up to a maximum of €500,000 and there is provision for custodial sentencing of up to 12 months for knowingly or recklessly providing false information to the Registrar. These punishments will also apply to an officer of a company in breach, where those breaches are with the officer’s consent or connivance.

The Beneficial Ownership Register opened for filing on 29 July 2019. All filings should be made online at www.rbo.gov.ie.

Source: Mason Hayes & Curran.