On 9 November 2017 legislative bodies of Latvia enacted amendments tool “Anti Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Law” (“the Act”). The main innovation made is a requirement to file registers with accurate and up-to-date information about beneficial owners of legal entities. The requirement to file registers of beneficial owners will be applicable from 1 December 2017.
In accordance with the Act the beneficial owner is a private individual that owns more than 25% of membership rights or shares, or more than 25 % of voting rights, or controls legal entity by other means.
All legal entities incorporated in Latvia will be obliged to file registers of their beneficial owners. Such register should contain:
- Name and surname of all beneficial owners;
- Identification number (in case of absence of such number there should be stated date of birth, the number of personal ID document, date of its issue, country of issue and issuing authority);
- Country of residence;
- Type of control over legal entity (including name, surname and identification number of private individual who is a member or a shareholder or name, registered number and legal address of legal entity that is a member or a shareholder through which the control is being exercised).
The Act provides some exemptions from rules of filing registers of beneficial owners. Legal entities are exempt if:
- The information about beneficial owners has already been filed with the Registrar on its requests or due to other obligations of a company.
- The beneficial owner is a shareholder of a company limited by shares, when such shares were listed in a stock exchange.
On 1 December 2017 latvian Register will start to receive the first registers of beneficial owners in accordance with the Act.
All legal entities incorporated in Latvia before 1 December 2017 will have to file registers of beneficial owners before 1 March 2018. Companies that will be incorporated after 1 December 2017 will file registers of beneficial owners by attaching them to the application form. From 1 April 2018 registers will be publicly available after payment of access fee.