The UK Government announced last week that the new Register of Overseas Entities, created under the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022, will come into force on 1 August as part of the Government’s strategy to combat economic crime.

From the day the Register comes into effect:

  • Overseas entities which currently own land in the UK will be given 6 months to register their beneficial owners or managing officers at Companies House; and
  • Overseas entities looking to buy, sell, transfer or lease land, or create a charge against land in the UK will need to register with Companies House, otherwise the disposition cannot be registered at the Land Registry. 

The Register of Overseas Entities also applies to those acting for UK companies that are buying property from overseas entities. After registering, the name of the overseas entity and its beneficial owners will be publicly available.

Failure to comply is potentially a criminal offence both for the entity and its officers (subject to mitigation and transitional provisions), punishable by a fine and/or possible imprisonment.

If you would like to discuss any of the issues raised in this article, please do not hesitate to contact Sing Li, the author, at s.li@teacherstern.com.