On 1 August 2022, the UK Foreign Entities Register came into force with the passing of its new Economic Crimes (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022. The law describes a foreign entity as a legal entity, such as a company or other organisation, governed by the law of a country or territory outside the UK.
The new register requires overseas entities that intend to buy, sell or transfer property or land in the UK to declare their beneficial owners and/or directors to Companies House. Entities currently holding property or land must declare their beneficial owners and/or managers and have until January 31, 2023 to do so. This requirement applies to foreign entities that purchased property or land on or after:
- 1 January 1999, in England and Wales
- December 8, 2014, in Scotland
- August 1, 2022, in Northern Ireland
Foreign entities that have disposed of property or land after February 28, 2022 are required to submit details of such disposals to Companies House.
What happens after registration?
Once the required details are submitted to Companies House and the application is accepted, the foreign entity will be assigned a unique identifier. This identification must be provided to the country’s land registry when buying, selling, transferring, renting or charging property or land in the UK. .
UK regulators expect the new guidelines to lead to more transparency, allowing law enforcement to investigate suspicious wealth more effectively.
What are the penalties for non-compliance?
Foreign entities that do not comply with these guidelines may incur:
- Daily fines of up to £2,500
- Restrictions when buying, selling, transferring, renting or charging property or land in the UK
- Up to 5 years in prison
Get in touch
For more information about Foreign Entity Registry compliance, or if you are unsure whether your business is required to comply with these regulations, contact a CT representative or call (844) 322-6993 (toll-free in the United States). -United).