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From 27 September 2020 onwards, companies and legal entitities must register persons who have an interest of more than 25% in the company. This register is called the UBO register. Registration in the UBO register is free of charge.
This measure is the result of European legislation to help stop financial and economic crimes such as money laundering, financing terrorism, tax fraud and corruption. The register makes it clear who is in charge of a company and to whom money is sent. This way, people cannot hide any potential financial crimes behind a corporation.
What is a UBO?
A UBO is the owner or the person who is effectively in control: the ultimate beneficial owner (in Dutch) of the company.
Ultimate beneficial owners are for instance:
- persons who own more than 25% of shares of a company or legal entity
- persons who have more than 25% of voting rights of a company
- persons who are effectively in control of the company
Registering your UBO
Every EU country will need to keep a UBO register. In the Netherlands, the UBO register will be managed by the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce (KVK). You should register UBOs (in Dutch) from 27 September. Only an authorised signatory of your organisation can register. The KVK will also send a letter with instructions to all companies in the Dutch Commercial Register that have to register their ultimate beneficial owners. This can be done online, by post or through a notary. Starting organisations that need to register UBOs do so when they register at the Chamber of Commerce.
It depends on your legal form if your organisation must register UBOs. Organisations that must register UBOs are:
- unlisted private and public limited companies
- associations with full legal capacity
- associations with limited legal capacity but with business activity
- mutual insurance companies
- partnerships: partnerships, general partnerships and limited partnerships
- shipping companies
- European limited liability companies (SE)
- European cooperative societies (SCE)
- European economic interest groupings that have their registered office in the Netherlands according to their statutes (EEIG)
Public UBO register
Some of the data in the UBO register is public. This concerns:
- full name
- month and year of birth
- country of residence
- nature and extent of the UBO's interest
To consult these data you can order an extract from the UBO register at the Chamber of Commerce (in Dutch). All other contents of the UBO register can only be consulted by competent authorities such as the Public Prosecution Service. For example to investigate money laundering or the financing of terrorism.
Foreign companies that only have branch offices in the Netherlands do not have to register their ultimate beneficial owners in the Netherlands. An Ltd or GmbH should register their UBOs in the UBO register of their country of origin.