Letters to overseas entities who own or lease property or land in the UK

What does this mean?

According to Land Registry information, you can own or rent property or land in the UK as an overseas entity.

Should I do something?

yes. You must register information about your overseas entity and any beneficial owners by 31 January 2023.

To register and for more information visit: gov.uk/guidance/register-an-overseas-entity

Under the new UK law, you must register information about this overseas entity and any beneficial owners

According to Land Registry information, you can own or rent property or land in the UK as an overseas entity. Registration of offshore legal entities has been brought into effect in the UK under the new Economic Crimes Act 2022 (Transparency and Enforcement) Act. This means registering the overseas legal entity with Companies House and telling us who the beneficial owners are.

For guidance visit: gov.uk/guidance/register-an-overseas-entity

After registration at Companies House, the details of the overseas entity and its beneficial owners are available to the public on the online register. Although most offshore entities that own land in the UK are not breaking the law, greater transparency would allow law enforcement agencies to investigate suspicious assets more effectively.

Companies House is the executive agency of the UK Government and the UK Company Register. The information we collect informs business decisions, supports growth and fights economic crime.

Why registration is important.

Once registered, you will receive a unique Foreign Entity ID. When you buy, sell, transfer, rent or charge property or land in the UK, you will need to give this to:

  • HM Land Registry – for property or land in England and Wales
  • Land Registrations Northern Ireland – for property or land in Northern Ireland
  • Scottish registrants – for property or land in Scotland

If your property or land is in Scotland, you must still be registered on the Scottish Register of Regulated Land (RCI) – in addition to being registered on the Foreign Entities Register if you meet the necessary conditions. For more information about RCI, visit: ros.gov.uk/register-of-overseas-entities

If you don’t follow the law—you could be fined up to £2,500 a day or jailed for up to 5 years. You will also face restrictions on buying, selling, transferring, renting or charging property or land in the UK.

How to register an offshore entity and its beneficial owners

Asking a UK regulated agent to register and provide you with the information is quick and easy. Regulated agents in the UK include accountants and lawyers regulated under the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Money Laundering Regulations 2017.

Before you can sign up, an agent will need to check and verify your identity—even if you decide to enter the information yourself.

You or your agent must:

  • Log in or create a Companies House account
  • Give the name and email address of the person we can contact about the application
  • Provide information about the overseas legal entity and its beneficial owners or management officers
  • Give the verification code to the agent who checked your identity
  • Pay the £100 registration fee by credit or debit card.

If there are no beneficial owners, you must provide information about the overseas entity’s managing officers. A managing officer is a director, manager or company secretary of an overseas entity.

We cannot provide technical advice or assist in identifying your beneficial owners or management officers. You need to seek independent advice.

Trustees and trustees

If any trustees of a trust are registrable beneficial owners, you will also need to provide information about that trust. This includes details of beneficiaries, current or past beneficial owners, settlors, grantees and interested parties.

Loyalty information is only shared with law enforcement and public authorities such as HM Revenue and Customs. It will not be accessible to the public.

Louise Smith

Chief Executive Officer, Registrar of Companies for England and Wales

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