BEIS call for beneficial ownership evidence

A call for evidence on beneficial ownership has been made by the BEIS.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has sent out a call for evidence, outlining suggestions for a new beneficial ownership register of companies overseas, that either own property in the UK, or engage in UK government procurement.

The BEIS are seeking opinions on the policy’s design as well as evidence on its possible side effects.

BEIS state that it will be of interest to the following demographics:

  • Overseas legal entities which own UK property or are considering purchasing UK property
  • Overseas legal entities which are considering participating in UK central government procurement
  • Professional advisers and service providers for overseas legal entities
  • Estate agents
  • Conveyancing solicitors
  • Civil society and transparency campaigners

In recent years, transparency of company ownership has been a priority for the government. As well as improving confidence in the market, the government believe that transparency of ownership also encourages trust, helping to create a fair economy. In turn, this contributes to attracting a higher level of investment to the UK as well as also benefitting a range of trades and industries.

A PSC regime was implemented in 2016. This meant that UK companies were required to maintain a register of those who had a significant amount of control over them. Prior to this, BEIS released a paper listing numerous proposals to improve the transparency of beneficial ownership of overseas companies owning UK property, or that are involved in UK government procurement. This recent call for evidence is in regards to these proposals.

The registers’ main objectives are listed as:

  • Providing useful information
  • Accessibility to be both public and easy in order to adequately improve transparency
  • Protecting the information of those at risk
  • Does not put off investors or create disproportionate burdens

Open until 5pm on 15 May 2017, the consultation can be accessed here.

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