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Dutch Beneficial Ownership Register Effective 2020

Monday, April 15, 2019

The Dutch Government has confirmed that a registry of ultimate beneficial owners of companies will enter into force in the Netherlands from January 2020.

Legislation to implement the UBO register was submitted to the lower house of parliament on April 4, 2019, following advice from the Council of State, the Ministry confirmed.

The purpose of the register is to combat financial and economic crime, such as tax evasion, money laundering and terrorist financing, by increasing transparency about who ultimately owns a corporate entity, the Ministry said.

Certain information about company owners held on the register will be accessible by the public. However, the law is said to include privacy safeguards for company owners who feel they may be put at risk of intimidation, violence, and other threats by having their details publicized.

The UBO register will become part of the Dutch trade registry, and will therefore fall under the management of the Chamber of Commerce, the Ministry said.

European Union member states are required to introduce centralized databases of ultimate beneficial owners of companies under European Directive 2015/849 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for money laundering or terrorist financing, otherwise known as the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive.