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IoM Regulator Issues Beneficial Ownership Guidance

by Jason Gorringe, Lowtax.net, London
05 July, 2017

The Isle of Man's financial services regulator, the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority, has published guidance on the Beneficial Ownership Act 2017, which requires the identification of the beneficial owners of the island's corporate and legal entities.

The Act, and a central database of beneficial ownership that went live on July 1, 2017, were developed following the island's commitment to the UK last year to enhance the sharing of information about the ownership of Isle of Man-based entities.

Information held on the central database will not be public and will only be accessible by a small number of designated officials in a limited number of Isle of Man authorities and, on request to the island's Financial Intelligence Unit, by the intelligence and law enforcement agencies of countries with which the Isle of Man has a beneficial ownership sharing agreement (currently only the UK).

A "beneficial owner" is a natural person who ultimately owns or controls more than 25 percent of a legal entity, in whole or in part, through direct or indirect ownership or control of shares, voting rights, or other ownership interests in that entity, or who exercises control via other means.

The Act requires details of any registrable beneficial owner to be submitted electronically to the Isle of Man's central database of beneficial ownership by an entity's nominated officer or relevant corporate service provider. Access to the database is restricted. All nominated officers and corporate service providers have until August 1, 2017, to enroll.

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