Removing Overseas Entity Registrations

Removing Overseas Entity Registrations

The Register of Overseas Entities was set up as one element of the UK’s efforts to tackle global economic crime. Launched on 1 August 2022, the legislation requires overseas entities to register with Companies House if they are looking to buy, sell, transfer, lease, or raise charges in respect of UK property.

Inevitably since the register was set up there will be some overseas entities which are looking to dispose, or have disposed, of their UK holdings and therefore may wish to be removed from the register. Companies House has recently issued guidance in respect of removing registrations and there are a number of considerations which may influence the removal decision.

Firstly, it is important to note that removal from the register will not result in previously submitted information disappearing from the register. So, information about the entity and its owners will still be available to search. However, removal will invalidate the overseas entity’s ID, meaning that a complete re-registration process will be required in the event of future UK property dealings. Accordingly, if there is an intent to buy or lease UK property in the future, it may not be in the entity’s best interests to seek removal from the register.

Secondly, an application for removal should only be made if the overseas entity is no longer listed on any land registry records as the registered owner (proprietor) of property or land in the UK. Companies House will carry out checks with all UK land registries for every application received.

Thirdly, all information about the overseas entity, its beneficial owners and managing officers must be correct as at the date the removal application is submitted to Companies House.

So, Companies House needs to be informed about all current beneficial owners, and all individuals and entities that have been a registrable beneficial owner since the entity’s information was last updated before removal from the register can proceed. Any changes which need to be made will need to be verified by a UK-regulated agent no more than three months before the application to remove. If no changes are required, then agent verification is not required.

In May 2024 the fee for an application to remove an entry from the register was increased from £400 to £706. This is non-refundable in the event of an application being rejected; highlighting the importance of ensuring that all requirements have been met before an application for removal from the register is put forward.

To find out more about our register of overseas entities service, visit our service page.

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