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Tuesday, 25 September 2018

The Belgian UBO register: Modified deadline of 31 March 2019

Previously, we informed you about the introduction of the Belgian UBO register (see this link). This UBO register is a centralised database (organised on a European level) through which companies, associations, foundations, trusts and similar structures are obliged to give information regarding their “Ultimate Beneficial Owners” (“UBOs”).

Both the Royal Decree implementing the practical modalities of the UBO register and the Report to the King set the deadline for the first registration of the UBOs in the UBO register on 30 November 2018. However, this deadline was postponed for a few months, to 31 March 2019, according to a FAQ that can be consulted on the website of the Federal Public Service Finance and according to an announcement published on the website of the Federal Public Service Finance.

“Although the implemention is planned for 31 October 2018, you will have time until 31 March 2019 to register your ultimate beneficiaries for the first time.” (

It is high time to inform you about the concrete functioning of this UBO register on the basis of a few practical questions.

Who has to report to the UBO register and when?

The UBO register will contain information regarding the ultimate beneficiaries of Belgian companies, foundations, (international) associations, trusts (de facto non-existing in the Belgian legal order), fiduciary constructions and legal entities similar to trusts and fiduciary constructions. Since neither the Law against money-laundering (hereinafter “the Law”) nor the Royal Decree implementing this law distinguish between companies with and without a legal personality, we can reasonably assume that information regarding the UBOs of Belgian civil-law partnerships will also have to be reported to the register.

This information must be provided by the directors/ managers, the trustees or the managers of fiduciary constructions of the reporting entities. This information must be updated yearly or you need to confirm, yearly, that the information is still up-to-date.

Moreover, all modifications with respect to the data of the UBO must be transferred to the register within one month after one has been informed of the modification.

The managers, the trustees or the managers of fiduciary constructions will also have to inform the UBOs, on paper or on another durable medium, regarding the different characteristics of the register and the rights and duties of the reporting agents, and of the UBO concerned. With respect to complying with these requirements, it will be possible to appoint a(n) (authorised) representative.

Furthermore, there is also a duty to report back for obliged entities (e.g. banks, accountants, notaries and lawyers) who will have to report possible discrepancies between the information they dispose of and the information incorporated in the UBO register. 

The ultimate beneficiaries, who is it about?

The Law lists several categories of ultimate beneficiaries who have to be reported as UBO, depending on the entity to which they belong.

For companies, the UBO(s) is (are) the natural person(s) who hold(s), directly or indirectly, organised or not (in coordination with other persons), 25% or more (this is a mere indicative threshold, in the FAQ several examples are given of how to interpret this threshold) of the voting rights or ownership rights in the company. If there are no such persons, or if there is doubt, then, according to the wording of the Law and the FAQ, the UBO(s) is (are) the natural person(s) having a controlling interest in the company through other means. If there are no such persons either, the UBO(s) is (are) the natural person(s) who belong(s) to senior management.

For foundations, (international) associations, fiduciary constructions and other similar legal entities different categories of persons are distinguished: the managers, the founders/ settlors, the beneficiaries or the persons in whose interest the entity was established. Each of these persons is considered a UBO.

What information must be reported?

The contents of the information that has to be reported regarding the UBO depends on the reporting entity as well.

For each UBO a minimum package of information must be transferred to the UBO register, the general identity information of the UBO (name, first name, date of birth, nationality, national number or company number or another identification number), his/her complete residential address as well as the date on which the person concerned became UBO of the reporting entity and the “legal category” of UBOs to which he or she belongs.  

The accuracy and veracity of the aforementioned will have to be established by way of supporting documents. The FAQ refers to: a copy of identity card/passport of the UBO, deed of incorporation and articles of association, shareholders’ register …

Specifically for companies, the information that has to be reported to the register does not only concern UBOs, but the complete identity information of all of the intermediaries between the UBO and the reporting entity has to be transferred to the register (e.g. intermediaries-companies). This means that the complete ownership structure, through which the UBO has a controlling interest of effective interest in the company, has to be incorporated, always taking into account the 25% threshold.

How will the transfer of information take place, practically?

This transfer of information is organised through the application on the MyMinFin-portal ( tab E‑services, UBO register), available since 27 September. You must connect to the electronic platform with an electronic identity card. For several practical questions, we refer to the recently published FAQ and to the various user’s manuals that will be published.  

From the moment the information transfer is finalised and registered, the UBO concerned will be notified. According to the notes to the Royal Decree, this will, in practice, be communicated electronically. Persons who are registered, by means of their national number or bis number or mail, on the Myminfin application will be notified of their registration through this platform.

What happens with the data incorporated in the UBO register and who has access to this information?

The information incorporated in the UBO register will first be consulted by the “competent authorities”, including the tax authorities and the obliged entities in the framework of client surveys (accountants, notaries …)

With respect to companies, each civilian will have access to the register in return for payment of and administrative fee. However, each civilian will be able to search by the name of the company or its CBE number and not the other way around, by the name of the UBO.

With respect to foundations, (international) associations, trusts, fiduciary constructions and similar legal entities, a civilian has to demonstrate so-called “legitimate interest” in order to gain access to information regarding the UBOs.

Moreover, the UBO can request that access to certain data regarding him/her is (partly) restricted, if justification due to exceptional circumstances is given. This exception only concerns the visibility of the registered information and does not concern the requirement to transfer this information to the UBO register.

Furthermore, the information the civilian has access to will be further restricted because the full name, national number and address of the UBO will not be visible for civilians consulting the UBO register. Civilians will not be able to access data regarding the assets and capital of the entity either.

If the UBO wants to consult the information registered in his/her name, he/she can submit a request with the General Administration of the Treasury.

The (updated) data incorporated in the register will be saved for ten years from the day the reporting entity no longer has legal personality (liquidation) or from the moment its activities are discontinued on a permanent basis.

What are the sanctions if the information requirements regarding the UBO register are not complied with?

If the requirements regarding te UBO register are not complied with, the persons concerned can be liable to pay an administrative fine from 250 EUR up to 50.000 EUR. The wording of the Royal Decree suggests that negligent trustees or managers of fiduciary constructions are not liable to pay such an administrative fine.

The General Administration of the Treasury will, in cooperation with other services within the Federal Public Service Finance, third parties and managers of similar UBO registeres in other Member states, check the accuracy of the data incorporated in the register.

How can you prepare for the UBO register?

The concrete application to report information to the UBO register is available since 27 September 2018, through the MyMinFin portal.

To fill out the form in an efficient manner, you can take the following actions:

  • Identifying the direct and indirect UBOs of the entity concerned and gathering the required information;
  • Partly according to the size of the organisation or entity concerned, developping internal procedures in order to be able to confirm/check the accuracy of the registered information and, in case a modification is in order, to transfer the modification of the required information within one month. 

If you so desire, we can provide you with further information and advice. Tiberghien is always willing to assist you.

Finally, you can also subscribe to the newsletter of the Federal Public Service Finance (General Administration – Treasury).

Gerd D. Goyvaerts (

Stephanie Gabriel (

Tiberghien Brussels

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