Norway implements new legislation on registration of beneficial owners

The new Act will be partly implemented by November 1.

7/10/21

Norway implements new legislation on registration of beneficial owners

The new Act will be partly implemented by November 1. The new legislation will impose a comprehensive duty for enterprises operating and registered in Norway to obtain, retain and register information about beneficial owners of the enterprise.

The Act is part of the implementation of EU’s fourth anti money laundering directive, and is intended as a measure against tax crime, corruption and money laundering. The purpose of the Act is to facilitate access to up-to-date and correct information about beneficial owners. The register is intended to contribute to increasing the availability and transparency of ownership and control of enterprises in Norway.

Who does the law apply to?

Pursuant to the Act, those who are obliged to obtain, retain and register information are legal persons, entities and other associates that operates or are registered in Norway, included Norwegian registered foreign businesses (NUF), as well as managers of foreign trusts and similar legal enterprises that operates in Norway.

What obligations apply?

The enterprise obliged to register information are required to obtain and retain information about any physical person who directly or indirectly owns more than 25 % of the enterprise, or who directly or indirectly holds more than 25 % of the voting rights in the enterprise, or otherwise exercise control over the enterprise.

The information required to obtain are:

  • Name
  • Identification number
  • Country of residency
  • Citizenship

When identifying beneficial owners, the enterprise obliged to register are required to include information from documents related to the incorporation of the enterprise, the articles of association, the shareholder register or equivalent. If relevant, the enterprise obliged to register shall also obtain information about any agreements or agreements regulating ownership rights and voting rights in the registered enterprise.

The information about each beneficial owner shall be retained for ten years after the physical person ceased to be a beneficial owner.

How will the obligations be implemented?

As previously stated, the new Act will be partly implemented from November 1. This implementation will be limited to the obligation to identify, obtain and retain information about beneficial owners of the enterprise.

The legislation related to the obligation to register the information, as well as the establishment and operation of the register, will not be implemented until later. It is currently not given information about when this implementation will take place.  

Furthermore, no information has been provided about the practical implementation of the registration. However, it has been proposed that the registration shall take place no later than 14 days after the enterprise obliged to register has identified new beneficial owners.

Pursuant to the Act, the enterprise obliged to register can be imposed a compulsory fine if the registration obligation does not comply with the order for compliance with the Act. In certain cases, failure to collect, store or record information may result in fines or imprisonment.

To begin with, the enterprise obliged to register must obtain the necessary information with the applicable documentation and retain this internally, in order to register the information when the register is established. No deadline has yet been given for the enterprises to do so, but our recommendation is that this work is executed immediately.

 

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