UAE Companies to File Register of Beneficial Owners
The UAE Ministry of Economy published Cabinet Resolution No. 58 of 2020 on the “Regulation of Procedures Related to Real Beneficiaries”, on 28th August 2020. The Decision requires companies based in the UAE mainland and commercial free zones to maintain registers of their beneficial owners and shareholders and are required to file their registers with the relevant registrar and licensing authorities.
The following records must be kept at companies’ offices:
- A register of beneficial owners – to include name, nationality, place of birth, residential address, travel ID card number and date of issuance and expiry, reason why the individual is classified as a BO and the date on which the person became a BO or ceased to be a BO;
- A register of shareholders / partners – to include the number of ownership interests held by each shareholder of partner and the voting rights attached and the date of acquisition. For physical persons, the register should include their full names, nationality, address, place of birth, employer name and address and a ID or travel document copy. For legal persons, the register should include their constitutional documents, address and details of their senior management;
- A register of nominee directors – to include full names, nationality, address, place of birth, employer name and address and a ID or travel document copy.
Existing companies must establish and file their beneficial owner registers not later than 20th October 2020. Companies to be registered in future must establish and file their beneficial owner registers at the time of incorporation of a company.
Any change or amendment to the information provided should be notified to the relevant registrar within 15 days. Each company must also designate an individual who the relevant registrar can contact in relation to any disclosure.
The obligation to establish and to file beneficial owner registers does not apply to regulated companies, such as companies at the free zones DIFC and ADGM, and regulated companies in Mainland UAE.
Beneficial ownership information may also be required to be reported under the UAE economic substance regulations.