UBO register | Public accessibility

8 December 2022
Article

In a recent court case the European Court of Justice ruled on the public accessibility of personal information of the ultimate beneficial owners of companies. Even though the case was of Luxembourg’s origin, the court case is also relevant for other European countries, especially for the Netherlands.

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Written by:
Nick Goossens Tax advisor ABAB International
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What is the UBO register?

First off, some background information on the UBO registers. The European Union requires all members to maintain a register containing information on the ultimate beneficial owners (UBOs) of legal entities. Generally speaking, an UBO is any person that ultimately owns more than 25% of the shares, voting rights or ownership interests in a legal entity. If there is no UBO based on these criteria, a ‘’pseudo’’ UBO must be registered, usually being the director of the legal entity.

What information is accessible?

The UBO register must contain the names, birth dates, nationalities, countries of residence and the nature of interest of all UBOs of a legal entity. This information should allow financial institutions and certain service providers to verify the information gathered during the mandatory compliance due diligence on their clients. However, in Luxembourg and in the Netherlands the information in the UBO register was accessible to the broad public as well.

The ruling

On 22 November 2022, the European Court of Justice declared the public accessibility of UBO registers to be not sufficiently substantiated and therefore unjustified. As a result, multiple European countries (including the Netherlands) have restricted public access to the UBO registers.

What does the ruling mean for you?

As an UBO, your personal information is no longer accessible to the broad public. However, financial institutions and certain service providers are still allowed access. Moreover, legal entities are still required to register with the UBO register.

A penalty can be imposed for non-compliance. In the Netherlands a maximum penalty of EUR 22.500 applies for failing to register the UBO of a legal entity.

More information

Would you like to know more about the Dutch UBO register? Or do you need help with other tax regulations? Our colleagues from the International tax division can advise and assist you. Call Nick Goossens, tax advisor, at +31 (0)13 591 5128 or send Nick an e-mail.

Would you like to know more about the Dutch Ubo register? Our specialist will gladly assist you!

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Photo Nick Goossens
Tax advisor ABAB International
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