Firm Announcements and Law Updates

Disclosure of Beneficial Owners in Estonia

Since 1st of September amendment in the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act entered into force which forsees an obligation to notify the Estonian Business Register about company’s beneficial owners. According to § 77 of the mentioned act a incorporated is required to submit the following data:  

1) the person’s name, personal identification code and the country of the personal identification code (upon absence of a personal identification code, the date and place of birth), and the country of residence;

 2) nature of the beneficial interest held.

Information about the beneficial owners to be disclosed involves natural persons owning direct or indirect shareholding or otherwise having control of more than 25%. The whole notification process takes less than 2 minutes without any excessive effort, while the system provides for the entrepreneur to log in to the portal and to mark the beneficial owners.

Earlier regulation provided such requirement for only credit and financial institutions in the context of a customer backround study. The referred obligation applies to each legal entitiy registered in the commercial registry which includes the disclosure of the beneficial owners and information concerning them.

Such amendment plays a major role in preventing money laundering and terrorist financing since it creates an additional ability for the banks, state and investigative authorities in order to carry out analysis and comparison of data in case of suspicion.

The information shall be published in the e-Business Register and will be accessible through a request made in the portal. Deadline for fulfilling the requirement is the 31st of October.

Reinis Sietins