June 9, 2023 Register of Overseas Entities next steps: Annual Update and removal
On the 1st August 2023 it will be the first anniversary of the UK Register of Overseas Entities. Those early registrants from last year will soon be the first to experience the annual update requirements; however, at the time of writing the exact requirements of the update process are still unknown.
Elemental is the number 1 UK Regulated Agent having completed more registrations than any other provider. We have spoken to a number of our clients who have successfully registered with Companies House and understandably have questions about what is next. As recently as last week we spoke to Companies House who confirmed that the update process is still being worked on.
We’ve taken a look at the latest information from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Companies House and the latest Economic Crime Bill passing through Parliament to summarise what we know and hopefully shed more light.
What are the Register of Overseas Entities annual update requirements?
The latest guidance from Companies House on renewal was made available in mid-January. Overseas entities (OE) have an ongoing duty to ensure the information submitted is accurate. An update must be given 12 months from the date of initial registration at which point the OE has 14 days to provide:
- a statement reflecting the state at the end of the update period. This is required regardless of whether there have been changes to beneficial owners.
- relevant details for the beneficial owner and dates (where there have been changes).
- confirmation that reasonable steps have been taken to identify beneficial owner
- contact details for an individual regarding the update.
- where the beneficial owner is a trustee, there are additional requirements.
In addition, under amendments made by the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill, we are expecting a new requirement to list all other land owned by the registering entity. The Bill is still passing through parliament, but it is expected this will form part of the renewal process.
What are the Register of Overseas Entities removal requirements?
Once an OE no longer owns land (or any other qualifying interest) in the UK it may wish to consider removal from the register. As with the annual renewal process, this will trigger a requirement to either confirm the beneficial owners’ information on the register is correct or update it.
Currently, the information we have from the government suggests that removal does not mean removal from the Register, instead, “the effect of being removed from the list of registered overseas entities is that an overseas entity will no longer be required to comply with the updating duty and the entry on the register relating to that entity will be comprised of historic information previously provided”.
It is not currently possible to remove an OE from the register because the relevant statute is not currently in force. If you are interested in removal from the register please get in touch.
As soon as we receive confirmation of the official process from Companies House we will be able to update clients on how we can help and we will be publishing our renewal fees on our website. Clients may want to start considering any changes since their original submission and gathering details of all UK land holdings (and other qualifying interests) if they have not already done so.