Electronic register of beneficial owners
Effective 1 January 2018 a register of beneficial owners was introduced under Act No. 304/2013 Sb. providing for public registers of legal entities, natural persons and trusts, as amended as at 1 January 2018. It is a public administration electronic register showing information about beneficial owners as stipulated by legislation.
Legal persons entered into the Commercial Register have a duty to enter their beneficial owners into the register by 1 January 2019.
Who is a beneficial owner?
Beneficial owners are deemed to be natural persons who control a legal entity actually or legally, and through direct or indirect ownership (the legislation applies also to trusts and legal arrangements having no legal personality).
If the conditions stated in the preceding sentence are met, then beneficial owners are deemed to be the following persons:
- the natural person who, either on its own or with other persons acting in accord, owns more than 25 % voting rights of the corporate entity or owns more than 25 % registered capital of the corporate entity,
- the natural person who, either on its own or with other persons acting in accord, controls the person specified in subsection 1,
- the natural person who is to be the beneficiary of at least 25 % profit of the corporate entity,
- the natural person who is the member of a governing body, the representative of a legal entity in the governing body or who is in a position similar to that of the member of a governing body, in the case there is no beneficial owner or the beneficial owner cannot be established under subsections 1 to 3,
The register of beneficial owners shows the following data of legal persons:
- Data of beneficial owners which are subject to the entry:
– Academic degree, name, surname, nationality, date of birth, birth registration number, and permanent address (or place of residence),
- Data specifying the position of a beneficial owner in a legal entity:
– a beneficial owner directly participates in a legal entity (information about the beneficial owner’s share in voting rights in per cent);
– a beneficial owner is a person who is a beneficiary of financial means (information about his/ her share in distributed financial means);
– a beneficial owner was established by other means.
Applications need to be submitted by corporations, and the signature of its representative must be officially authenticated. The applications for registration must be in electronic format. Applicants need to attach to their applications documents of the facts which are to be registered (for example, documents showing the identity of a beneficial owner, if his/ her identity cannot be verified in the Czech register of inhabitants), as well as documents specifying the position of a beneficial owner in a legal entity. The registration courts will decide which specific documents
are needed for each application.
Extracts from the register of beneficial owners may be accessed by registered persons at https://issm.justice.cz/. Go to “Show my extract” („Zobrazení mého výpisu“) and enter your unique identifier of a beneficial owner (UIBO, in Czech “JISM”). UIBO is a special code which is an integral part of each form. Legal persons may be entered into the register by local registration courts or notaries. However, we have been informed that notaries do not process the registrations yet. The records of beneficial owners are not accessible to public. The records may only be accessed by persons authorized by legislation, such as investigative, prosecuting and adjudicating bodies, the Financial Analytical Authority, obligated persons who have a duty to verify the identity of their clients (for example banks, auditors, tax advisers), etc.