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Companies Act

Disclosure of beneficial ownership of Irish companies

On 15 November 2016 Ireland implemented the European Union’s (EU) Fourth
Anti-Money Laundering Directive (‘the Directive’) by way of statutory instrument. This is the first step in creating a central register of the beneficial owners of Irish incorporated entities.

With effect from 15 November, Irish companies are required to compile and maintain a register of beneficial owners. It has not yet been confirmed if this information will be made publically available. However, current indications are that this information, once supplied to the proposed central register, will be available for public inspection. The Companies Registration Office (CRO) is currently putting in place steps to provide the service of the central register.

What information is contained in the register?

  • names, dates of birth, nationalities and addresses of each beneficial owner;
  • nature and extent of the interest held by each beneficial owner;
  • date on which the natural person was entered into the register as a beneficial owner; and
  • date on which the beneficial owner of the company ceased to be such an owner.

Ownership interests in listed companies (in markets which meet EU or equivalent transparency criteria) are excluded from these requirements. For example, companies whose shares are listed on stock exchanges such as the Irish Stock Exchange, the London Stock Exchange and NASDAQ should be excluded from these requirements.