Complying with the Finnish act on money laundering: beneficial ownership registrations
ComplianceOctober 27, 2020

Complying with the Finnish act on money laundering

Finland – The Finnish Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing requires certain entities to file a notification of beneficial owners with the local Trade Register.

In accordance with EU directives, the purpose of this law is to promote the detection and investigation of such illegal activities and to enhance the tracing and recovery of any proceeds derived from these.

The entities that fall under the scope of this law include limited liability companies, public limited companies, cooperatives, the foreign parent of a branch, as well as general and limited partnerships where beneficial owners are not partners in the company, among others. Publicly traded companies, private traders, housing companies, mutual real estate limited companies, among other select entities, are not required to file a notification.

The law defines a beneficial owner as a natural person who ultimately:

  • Directly or indirectly owns more than 25% of the shares;
  • Directly or indirectly exercises more than 25% of the voting rights or otherwise effectively exercises control over the entity;
  • Legal entities in which one or more natural persons exercise independent decision-making power and hold more than 25% of the shares or voting rights;
  • Legal entities in which a natural person exercises independent decision-making power and has the right, based on ownership, membership, articles of association, articles of association, or comparable rules, to appoint or dismiss a majority of the members of the board of directors or comparable institution.

Newly formed or existing entities that fall within the scope of the law must submit their notifications to the Finnish Trade Register if:

  1. The entity that has not filed beneficial ownership details with the Finnish Trade Register between July 1, 2019, and July 1, 2020.
  2. Beneficial ownership details have changed or if a person is no longer a beneficial owner.
  3. A new entity has been incorporated.
  4. If there are no beneficial owners, entities that fall under the scope of the law must still file notifications.

Companies doing business in Finland must report beneficial ownership information without delay and maintain this information up to date on an ongoing basis. It is important to note that the register is only available in the local language. To learn more about this requirement and how to comply, contact a CT representative at (844) 322-6993 (toll-free U.S.).