The UK Government has opened another consultation on the transparency of the ownership of UK property (commercial and residential) by overseas entities with the publication on 5th April of the "Overseas companies and other legal entities beneficial ownership register: call for evidence".
The consultation can be found at:
The Government say that this register will be the first of its kind in the world. The consultation closes on 15th May 2017 which would imply that the Government are keen to proceed as soon as possible. The proposal is to have a public register held at Companies House with the beneficial ownership disclosures being along the lines of the Persons with Significant Control ("PSC") register for UK companies. The proposal is to exempt entities incorporated in countries with equivalent disclosure requirements. It is not clear whether this will include EU countries who, whilst adopting the Fourth Money Laundering Directive, choose not to make their register public. The intention is that it would not be possible for overseas entities to buy and sell properties until they have provided details of beneficial ownership to the new register. Existing entities would have a year to decide whether to disclose the information or dispose of the property.
At this stage there are no proposed dates for when the register will be introduced, but given that it will be administered by Companies House along the lines of the PSC register, the infrastructure for the register is already in place.
If you have any queries, please speak with your usual SMP adviser or email : firstname.lastname@example.org