Ultimate beneficial owner registration

13. August 2020

On 29 July 2020 the Albanian Parliament passed a Law for the establishment of a registry for beneficial owners. This Law aims to approximate the Albanian legislation with the EU requirements on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing,

The Register of Beneficial Owner

The register of beneficial owners will be a public and administered by the National Business Center that administers the commercial registry of the Republic of Albania. Pursuant to this law, the register of beneficial owners will be functional in electronic form not later than 31.01.2021.

Reporting Entities

The reporting entities include limited liability companies, joint stock companies, branches and representative offices of foreign companies, foundations, associations etc.

Businesses conducted by persons registered as individual entrepreneurs, companies fully owned by the state, religious communities and political parties are excluded from the reporting requirements of this law.

Beneficial Owners

Beneficial owner is the individual who ultimately, through the direct or indirect ownership of a sufficient portion of the equity or voting rights in a reporting entity, has the control of that entity, or is able to exercise control of the entity through other means, or otherwise benefits from the transactions performed by the entity on his/her behalf.

Direct ownership is defined as the ownership of by individual (in his/her own name) of at least 25% of the shares or interest in a reporting entity.

Indirect ownership is the ownership or control exercised by the same individual, in one or more legal entities, which, individually or combined, own at least 25% of the shares or interest in a reporting entity.

The founder, the legal representative or the individual that exercises ultimate effective control in the management of NGOs and their branches, is also deemed by this Law as a beneficial owner. Ultimate effective control is defined as the power of the individual to determine the decision-making of the NGO or otherwise control by any mean, the election, appointment or dismissal of the decision-making bodies of the NGO.
In case of a trust, the beneficial owner is deemed to be the settlor, the trustees, the protector, if any, and the beneficiaries, or where the individuals benefiting from the legal arrangement or entity have yet to be determined, the class of persons in whose main interest the legal arrangement or entity is set up or operates, as well as any other individual exercising ultimate control on the trust, by way of direct or indirect ownership or by other means.
This Law no.112/2020 “For the establishment of a registry for beneficial owners” law has been published on Official Gazette no.149 date 13.08.2020 of the Republic of Albania and will enter into force 15 days after its publication.
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