Which individuals may not be required to register in the Cyprus Register of Ultimate Beneficial Owners (UBOs)
As mentioned in a previous post, the Cyprus Register of Ultimate Beneficial Owners (UBOs) is a prerequisite of the European Union regulations deriving from the 5th European Directive (EU 2018/843, 30 May 2018) which harmonize and strengthen the existing framework for the prevention and money laundering and terrorist financing.
The previous post also mentioned who should be registered in the Cyprus Register of Ultimate Beneficial Owners (UBOs), the responsibility for submitting data to the Cyprus Register of Ultimate Beneficial Owners, the data that should be submitted, and the access to the information held in the Cyprus Register of Ultimate Beneficial Owners.
Taking into account the relevant legislation as well as the recent developments, individuals may not have the obligation to register in the Cyprus Register of Ultimate Beneficial Owners (UBOs). The following may not be required to register:
- Shareholders (direct or indirect) who hold 25% or less in a Cyprus company.
- In cases where the owner of a Cyprus company is a trust, only the name of the trust is mentioned without reference to the beneficiaries. If the trust is registered outside Cyprus it is governed by the jurisdiction of the other state.
- In cases where the owner of a Cyprus company is an institution/foundation, only the name of the institution/foundation is mentioned without reference to its founders and beneficiaries. If the institution/foundation is registered outside Cyprus it is governed by the jurisdiction of the other state.
- Registration of a foreign company.
- When an exemption is requested due to the exposure of the beneficial owner to a disproportionate risk of fraud, abduction, extortion, harassment, violence, or intimidation.
- A company listed on a regulated market.
- A private company that has a shareholder company in a listed regulated market.
- Companies whose directors applied for the delisting of a Cyprus company in accordance with Article 327 of the Companies Law of Cyprus, prior to the commencement of the relevant Directive.
- Foreign companies.
- Investors in investment funds.
It is also important to refer to the Cyprus companies themselves which if they show an economic reason for their existence in Cyprus as well as the maintenance of offices with staff in Cyprus, the ultimate beneficiaries of these Cyprus companies will have little reason to worry.
In this respect, the ultimate beneficial owners of Cyprus companies are urged to take into account the new developments by acting correctly and proactively.
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