Register of Overseas Entities set to launch on 1 August 2022

The new Register of Overseas Entities, introduced by the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act, is to come into force on 1 August 2022, the government has announced.

This is part of the government’s strategy that is aiming to combat economic crime, alongside ensuring businesses that are legitimate continue to view the UK as a great place for investment.

What are the requirements of the Register of Overseas Entities?

Overseas entities that own UK land or property are required to declare their beneficial owners or managing officers within the register. For those entities which do not reply, severe sanctions are to be sought, this includes restrictions on selling, buying, leasing, transferring or charging their land in the UK.

When will the register become live?

Companies House intend to launch the Register of Overseas Entities on 1 August 2022. The registration element of the Act is scheduled to come into force on 5 September 2022. The Land Registry explains that this allows time for those engaged in relevant land transactions to comply with the registration requirement with Companies House and to obtain an Overseas Entity ID ahead of making an application to the HM Land Registry.

It  is understood a link to the service is to be shared with those subscribers of the Companies House newsletter once the register is live.

How does the register affect property transactions?

The Act prohibits applications to HM Land Registry to register overseas entities as proprietors of land unless the overseas entity has obtained its OE ID at the time of application.

Any overseas entities looking to acquire land soon will need to prepare to apply for its OE ID. Once the Act begins, a prompt application to Companies House may be required to apply for land registration within their priority search period. HM Land Registry states it will reject any land registration applications where an overseas entity is needed but has not been provided.

The aim of the act is to prohibit overseas entities from leasing, transferring or charging land unless an OE ID has been obtained at the time of disposal.

Further Information on the Register of Overseas Entities

Further Information, including guidance on what Overseas Entities should be doing ahead of the Register coming into force, can be found on HM Land Registry’s website here and on Gov.uk.

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