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Beneficial Ownership of Companies

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From 15th November 2016, the European Union (Anti-Money Laundering: Beneficial Ownership of Corporate Entities) Regulations 2016 (the "Regulations") have been effective.

The Regulations require companies and other legal entities incorporated in Ireland to take all reasonable steps to hold adequate, accurate and current information on their "beneficial owners" on an internal beneficial ownership register. The requirement applies as and from 15th November 2016.

Legal entities must now establish an internal register of their beneficial owners.

Where the beneficial owners are not known, the entity must take "all reasonable steps" to ensure the beneficial ownership information is obtained and entered on the beneficial ownership register. Where no beneficial owners can be identified, the entity must enter the names of the senior managers of the relevant entity as the "beneficial owners".

A beneficial owner is an individual who ultimately owns or controls the relevant entity through direct or indirect ownership of a sufficient percentage of the shares or voting rights or ownership interest in the relevant entity. A shareholding of 25% plus one share or an ownership interest of more than 25% will be evidence of ownership or control.
 

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