GUERNSEY: New Beneficial Ownership of Legal Persons Law 2017

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On the 15th of August, The Beneficial Ownership of Legal Persons Law 2017 was launched in Guernsey.

The associated limited-access electronic registry service is also live. This appoints a legal obligation for resident agents to manage an up-to-date record of the Beneficial Owners of legal entities for those of which they are responsible. And so, this now sets a 25% threshold for Beneficial Ownership.

Since the 15th of August 2017, the creation or incorporation of any Guernsey based company requires the submissions of details of its beneficial owner to the Guernsey Registrar of Beneficial Ownership of Legal Persons. All existing legal persons need to establish compliance by the 31st of October 2017.

Following this, the current Guernsey entities will be required to do the same before the 31st of December 2017, with the exception of companies that have up until the 28th of February 2018.

Moreover, the penalties for non-compliance are rather significant. A beneficial owner could receive a civil penalty of up to GBP £20,000. Whereas a resident agent who fails to abide by the new law can be jailed for two years.