A new database has been introduced in Portugal to hold information about the people who own or have effective control over companies and other legal entities.
Legislation creating the Central Register of Beneficial Owners addresses the need for international business transparency and compliance to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing.
The following entities are subject to the CRBO:
• Associations, co-operatives, foundations, civil and commercial companies
• Representations of foreign legal entities operating in Portugal
• Other entities that do not have corporate personality
• Trusts and branches registered in the Madeira Free Zone.
Services and entities of central, regional and local administration bodies, other public entities, listed companies, consortia and complementary groupings of companies, as well as certain property condominiums are exempted from the CRBO.
The declaration on beneficial owners must be submitted by June 30 2019 and will have to include all the relevant information on:
• The entity subject to the CRBO
• In the case of companies, the identification of the holders of the share capital, detailing their shareholdings
• The identification of the managers and directors or whoever performs the management or directorship duties of the entity subject to CRBO
• The beneficial owners
• The identity of the person making the declaration.
Some, but not all, of the information contained in the CRBO will be publicly available on a website including the name of beneficial owners, the month and year of their birth, nationality, country of residence and economic interest. Access to data relating to individuals may be wholly or partially limited if the disclosure is likely to expose the person to fraud, abduction, extortion, violence, intimidation, or when the beneficiary is minor or incapable.
Failure to comply is punishable with a fine ranging from €1,000 to €50,000.
Managing Director of ILS World in Portugal, Paulo Réfega said: "The European Union's Anti Money Laundering directive obliges all Member States set up a central registry of beneficial owners of companies. Portugal has used this opportunity to provide a legal framework for greater transparency. As an international fiduciary ILS World embraces the process of bringing us into line with international standards and believe it will only increase the advantages of working in Portugal."