Overseas property register wins innovation award

Overseas property register wins innovation award

A leading global business registries association has presented Companies House with an innovation excellence award in respect of the work done to design and implement the Register of Overseas Entities. The Corporate Registers Forum (CRF) encompasses some fifty registries from across the world with a view to sharing best practices and benchmarking performances. In presenting the award to Companies House, the CRF recognised the challenge of implementing a new register in just 109 working days.

Commenting on the award the Chair of the CRF 2023 Innovation Award judging panel, Ms Chin Li Fen, said the development of the Register of Overseas Entities (ROE) was: “a true display of agile innovation from Companies House. Not only did ROE achieve the policy objectives of having a robust process to combat cross-border economic crimes, the fully digital solution was also designed from customer perspective to facilitate compliance with the laws and boost transparency.”

As at the end of April the register contained details of more than 27,000 entities. In the first nine months since it came into force on 1 August 2022, the register has been searched more than 405,000 times; with information on beneficial owners being accessed more than 89,500 times.

As with any legislation, from time to time there is a requirement for clarification or tweaking. The legislation in respect of the Overseas Property Register is no different. On 1 June 2023 the “The Register of Overseas Entities (Definition of Foreign Limited Partner, Protection and Rectification) Regulations 2023” came into force. The new regulations make three changes. Firstly, they allow for the protection of information on the register in certain circumstances such as if details on the open register could lead to personal security concerns. Secondly the regulation brings in a mechanism which enables the register to be amended if factually inaccurate, forged, or submitted without the knowledge of the overseas entity.

Importantly the third plank of these regulations also aims to clarify what constitutes a foreign limited partner and partnership. These are areas which to date have given rise to some confusion when deciding whether an individual or entity should be named on the register.

Elemental is the number 1 UK regulated agent for providing a fully managed Register of Overseas Entities service. We can provide advice and assistance in identifying beneficial ownership as well as providing the verification required in order to submit an entry to the register. Following the initial registration, we can also manage the annual returns which are required under the legislation.

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