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Who is a beneficial owner?

Adam Rang
Adam Rang, Communications Director at Unicount

Since 1 September 2018 all legal persons registered in Estonia are obliged to retain and publish data on the beneficial owners of the legal entity. This is based on chapter 9 of the Estonian Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act.

Pursuant to the Act, a legal person is required to retain and gather relevant, accurate and up-to-date data on its beneficial owners, including information on their right of ownership or other manners of exercising control.

Identification of beneficial owners was before required from financial institutions, notaries and other regulated service providers when establishing a business relationship or conducting transactions. Now all private legal persons are required to make their beneficial owners public via the Business Register. This means that shareholders of a company or members of an association must provide the management board with information about beneficial owners. The management board needs to  submit the data via the Business Register or with the online formation application.

Guidelines for submission of data of beneficial owners
Instructions for submitting data via the Company Registration Portal

To publish the data of beneficial owners, a person with the right of representation has to log in to the Business Register, open the link “Beneficial owners undetermined” and determine the person(s) from the displayed options or enter their name, personal identification code, state and role.

After adding the persons, the data will also be automatically published in the Business Register.

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