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Portuguese Registry of Beneficial Owners

Last Updated on March 2, 2020 by Miguel Silva Reichinger Pinto Correia

The Portuguese Registry of UBOs (Beneficial Owners) is the transposition of the Chapter III of Directive (EU) 2015/849 of the European Parliament and of the Council.

Portuguese companies must identify the UBOs, ie those individuals “ who, in any event, has their effective control. ”

The identification of the UBOs is disclosed through a partially publicly accessible database, which includes the identification elements of the person or individuals who, directly or indirectly, own or effectively control Portuguese trading companies and other entities subject to this registration.

The Directive is clear and leaves no scope for circumventing the objective of “giving a face and a name” to the capitalist behind any investment structure.

For start-ups, their incorporation documents must indicate the natural persons who hold, directly or indirectly, shareholdings. Any changes regarding UBOs are reported to the Institute of Registries and Notaries (IRN) within 15 days.

The UBO’s information that is available to the IRN must include:

  • full name;
  • date of birth;
  • place of birth;
  • nationality or nationalities;
  • full address of permanent residence, including the country;
  • identification document data;
  • the TIN, where applicable; and
  • in the case of a foreign citizen, the TIN issued by the competent authorities of the State, or States, of their nationality, or equivalent number; and the contact email address, if any.

Failure of the company to keep the UBO identification register up to date constitutes a breach of a fine ranging from € 1,000 to € 50,000.

Furthermore, pending the fulfillment of the reporting obligations, the respective companies shall be prohibited from:

  • distributing profits for the year; or
  • advancement of profits during the year; and
  • access to support from European structural and investment and public funds.

In addition to online public registration information reported to the IRN may be accessed by the following public entities:

  • the Tax and Customs Authority;
  • the Insurance and Pension Funds Supervisory Authority;
  • the Bank of Portugal, the Securities Market Commission (CMVM);
  • the General Inspectorate of Finance;
  • the General Inspectorate of the Ministry of Labor, Solidarity and Social Security;
  • the Tourism Regulation and Inspection Service of Portugal, IP;
  • the Institute of Public Markets, Real Estate and Construction, IP (IMPIC, IP); and
  • the Food and Economic Safety Authority (ASAE).

All of the aforementioned supervisory bodies may furthermore, under the law, process and interconnect data for the purpose of preventing and combating money laundering and terrorist financing.

Directive (EU) 2015/849 of the European Parliament and of the Council puts an end to business secrecy in the European Union. The objective: combating money laundering and terrorist financing.

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