On August 1, 2022, the UK’s Register of Overseas Entities went into effect through the passing of its new Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022. The act describes an overseas entity as a legal entity, such as a company or other organization, governed by the law of a country or territory outside of the UK.
The new register requires overseas entities that intend to buy, sell, or transfer property or land in the UK to declare their beneficial owners and/or managing officers with Companies House. Entities currently holding property or land must declare their beneficial owners and/or managing partners and have until January 31, 2023, to do so. This requirement applies to overseas entities who bought property or land on or after:
- January 1, 1999, in England and Wales
- December 8, 2014, in Scotland
- August 1, 2022, in Northern Ireland
Overseas entities that disposed of property or land after February 28, 2022, are required to submit details of those dispositions to Companies House.
What happens after registration?
Once the required details are submitted to Companies House and the application is accepted, the overseas entity will be assigned a unique I.D. This identification must be provided to the country's Land Registry when it buys, sells, transfers, leases, or charges UK property or land.
Regulators in the UK expect the new guidance will lead to more transparency, allowing law enforcement agencies to investigate suspicious wealth more effectively.
What are the penalties for non-compliance?
Overseas entities that do not comply with this guidance may incur:
- Daily fines of up to £2,500
- Restrictions when buying, selling, transferring, leasing, or charging property or land within the UK
- Up to 5 years in prison
Get in touch
For more information on complying with the Register of Overseas Entities or if you are unsure whether your company is required to comply with this regulation, contact a CT representative, or call (844) 322-6993 (toll-free U.S.).