Estonia: Duty to Submit Data of Beneficial Owners to the Business Register

From September 1st 2018 the amendments to the Estonian Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act shall come into force in the country, imposing the duty on management board to submit data of beneficial owners to the Business Register. The obligation applies also to non-profit associations and foundations.

These amendments to the Act are made in compliance with the EU Directive. Duty to report beneficial owners to the authorities is valid throughout the European Union with the purpose of monitoring the business interests in the EU.

A beneficial owner is a natural person who ultimately owns or controls a legal person through direct or indirect ownership.

The management board registers and keeps records of all actions taken in order to identify the beneficial owner of the company. Where the beneficial owner cannot be identified, the natural person who holds the position of a senior managing official in the company is deemed as a beneficial owner.

The management board submits to the Business Register the following data on the beneficial owner:

  • the person’s name, personal identification code and the country of the personal identification code (upon the absence of a personal identification code, the date and place of birth), and the country of residence;
  • nature of the beneficial interest held.

Where the submitted data changes, the management board submits new data not later than within 30 days after learning of the changes in the data. Where the data of the beneficial owner has not changed, the management board certifies the correctness of the data upon submission of the annual report.

All the existing companies, non-profit associations and foundations are given 60 days from September 1st for submitting the required data. Failure to submit data may result in state penalty (up to 1200 EUR for a natural person and up to 32 000 EUR for a legal person.)

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