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A new legislation was introduced by the UK government, the new Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022 on 1st August 2022.

The legislation provides that if an overseas entity¹ wants to buy, sell or transfer property or land in the UK, that company will now be obliged to register at Companies House and confirm who their registrable beneficial owners or managing officers are.

This new legislation applies retrospectively to overseas entities that bought property or land on or after 1st January 1999 England & Wales, 8th December 2014 Scotland and Northern Ireland on or after 1st August 2022.

This new legislation requires those that are eligible to register to have done so by 31st January 2023, otherwise fines could be issued or convictions or even both. Once registered, the overseas entity will receive a unique Overseas Entity ID to give to the land registry when it buys, sells, transfers, leases or charges UK property or land.

This process should hopefully bring more transparency and would also allow enforcement agencies to investigate suspicious wealth more effectively.

The service can be used by anyone who works at or on behalf of the overseas entity.

The process can be done online via the Companies House ‘Register an overseas entity and its beneficial owners‘ service, where you can also find a step by step guide on the information needed to register. There is a fee charge of £100 and if the application is rejected a full refund will be issued.

Once registered the process is similar to when a company needs to file an annual Confirmation Statement (CS01) as the entity will need to file an annual update one year after the registration anniversary and each year after that.

Companies House has announced that they are currently dealing with a high volume of submissions which means it may take longer to process applications.

If you think that your company may fall in scope of this legislation and you require any assistance in this regard, please contact us at to discuss your requirements and see if we can assist you with your filing obligations.

¹ A legal entity that is governed by the law of a country or territory outside the United Kingdom.