The German Transparency Register is coming: New obligations for legal entities in Germany to disclose beneficial ownership information

August 22, 2017

The amended German Anti-Money Laundering Act (GeldwäschegesetzGwG) implements a new register: the Transparency Register (Transparenzregister) (the Register).

The Register will contain information on the identity of the beneficial owners and details on the beneficial interests held with respect to legal persons established under German private law, registered partnerships, but also with respect to foreign trusts and foundations without legal capacity which’ purpose serves their founder(s) as well as other similar legal arrangements.

The Register will be accessible to public authorities, persons obliged to proceed to KYC processes and third parties, such as journalists, NGOs and (potential) commercial partners, provided that any such third party is able to demonstrate a legitimate interest for the access to the registered information.

Entities falling under the scope of the amended GwG, as well as trustees and fiduciaries, have an obligation to obtain, keep up-to-date and file for registration the information on beneficial owners with the Register. Beneficial owners and interested holders controlled by a beneficial owners are obliged to provide the necessary information.

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