Companies House has written to overseas entities who already own or leave property or land in the UK and who must register information with Companies House by the end of January 2023. Any entity that does not comply can be fined up to £2,500 per day or individuals can be imprisoned for up to 5 years.
The letter explains the need to register under the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022, and explains that, after registration, the details of the entity and its beneficial owners will be publicly available on the online register. It notes that registration will provide entities with the ID they will need to give to the appropriate UK land registry when buying, selling, transferring, leasing or charging property or land in the UK.
The letter also gives guidance on how to register, and on using agents to help, and confirms that if trustees of a trust are registrable beneficial owners then information about the trust must also be provided – including on beneficiaries, past or present beneficial owners, settlors, grantors and interested persons. Trust information is not public and is shared only with HMRC and law enforcement agencies.