Netherlands Adopts Beneficiary Register Law

The Senate of the Netherlands has passed the law on the register of the ultimate beneficial owners of…

The Senate of the Netherlands has passed the law on the register of the ultimate beneficial owners of entities (UBOs). This register shall contain all personal data of the ultimate beneficial owners of Dutch legal entities.

The new register is part of the trading register maintained by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Certain beneficiary data will be publicly accessible. Companies will have to enter all beneficiary data in the register within 18 months following its implementation.

Who enters data concerning beneficial owners in the register?

We have made a list of companies obliged to include information about their beneficiaries in the new register:

  • Partnerships
  • Churches
  • Associations
  • Private limited companies (BV) and public companies (NV)
  • European cooperative societies (SCE)
  • European public companies (SE)
  • Cooperatives, funds, and mutual insurance associations

Non-residents in the Netherlands are exempt even if they have a branch or operations in the Netherlands. Listed companies must meet a number of data disclosure requirements but they are not obligated to provide information about their beneficiaries.

What’s to expect of the new register?

Companies entering data in the UBO register should ensure that the information is accurate, up-to-date, and truthful. UBOs must provide all data the companies need to comply with the new legislation.

Relevant authorities, in particular lawyers, civil law notaries, banks, tax officers, and accountants have to report all discrepancies and mistakes.

Violation of the obligations and rules constitutes a financial crime that carries a criminal or administrative penalty. As a remedial sanction, fines can be charged for non-compliance. If the infringement is considered deliberate, criminal punishment may include up to 2 years’ imprisonment.

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