The Ultimate Beneficial Owner Register

The Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Act 2018 transposed the majority of the Fourth EU Money Laundering Directive (4A MLD) into Irish Law.  

This legislation may require you to act as it has an impact on all companies registered in Ireland that have a share capital. It requires action by these companies  to not only hold and maintain an internal register but also to file UBO information with the  new central register  when it comes online, in June  2019.  The filing deadline is November 2019

The purpose of 4AMLD is to improve on existing legislation by ensuring greater transparency among companies in member states in relation to taxation, anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing.  One of the main goals of the act is to ensure that individuals or the "Ultimate Beneficial Owner" are easily identifiable, and ownership of a company is not anonymous. 

A shareholding of 25% plus one share or an ownership interest of more than 25% shall be an indication of direct ownership. 

Who is a Beneficial Owner?

As defined by the legislation, a beneficial owner, in the case of corporate entities, as follows:  (i) the natural person(s) who ultimately owns or controls a legal entity through direct or indirect ownership of a sufficient percentage of the; 

  • Shares

  • Voting rights

  • Ownership interest in that entity including through bearer shareholdings, or

  • Through control via other means, other than a company listed on a regulated market that is subject to disclosure requirements consistent with Union law or subject to equivalent international standards which ensure adequate transparency of ownership information.

The Ultimate Beneficial Owner Register 

Article 30(1) of the 4AMLD requires corporate and legal entities to obtain and hold adequate, accurate and current information on their beneficial owner(s) in their own internal beneficial ownership register. 

Article 30(3) of 4AMLD requires that the information referred to above be held in a central register for each member state.

As a result the Central Register of Beneficial Ownership of Companies and Industrial and Provident Societies (RBO) was signed into law (April 2019) by the Minister for Finance. 

The RBO website was launched on 29 April 2019. This Register will assist companies in meeting their filing requirements.   Filings through the Central Register will be accepted from late June 2019. 

Central Register of Beneficial Ownership (RBO)

What Information is Collected?  

The following is a list of some of the details that must be held on your UBO Register.

  • Name

  • Date of Birth

  • Nationality

  • PPS/ Tax Registration Number 

  • Country of residence

  • Nature and size of the beneficial interest held. 

Failure to Comply? 

Failure of an origination to comply with the new regulations will be an offence and an organisation would be liable on conviction to a class A fine (not exceeding €5,000), or on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding €500,000.

Who will have access to the data stored in the RBO Register? 

The data will be divided into two tiers.  Tier one will be unrestricted access while Tier Two will have restricted access. 

Tier One 

  • A member of An Garda Síochána.

  • A member of Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) Ireland.

  • An officer of the Revenue Commissioners.

  • An officer of the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB).

  • A member or member of staff of the Central Bank of Ireland.

  • An officer of the Minister for Justice & Equality.

  • A member of the Property Services Regulatory Authority (PSRA).

  • A member or a member of staff of the Law Society of Ireland.

  • A member or a member of staff of the General Council of the Bar of Ireland.

  • A member or member of staff of a designated accountancy body.

  • An inspector appointed by the Director of Corporate Enforcement under section 764(1) of the Companies Act 2014. 

Tier Two

  • The general public

  • Designated persons required to conduct customer due diligence tests and to report suspicious transactions. 

The Garda Síochána, Revenue Commissioners, competent authority and CAB may disclose the information in the central Register to any corresponding competent authority of another Member State. 

Finally, it is also worth noting GDPR and the implications for any personal data you hold or process should be done in line with your companies privacy and data protection policies. 

MBSL can assist your company with the statutory requirements of completing a UBO Register.  If you would like further information  please do not hesitate to contact Karl Houghton at or +3531 2984366.