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79% of firms register their beneficial ownership

06 Feb 2020 / regulation Print

79% of firms register their beneficial ownership

The number of companies that had registered their beneficial ownership details with the Register of Beneficial Ownership (RBO) at the end of January 2020 was 175,000 – or 79% of the total due to file.

The number of industrial and provident societies that had registered was 549 (57%).

Failure to file with the RBO is a prosecutable offence, liable on summary conviction to a fine of up to €5,000, and on conviction on indictment to a fine of up to €500,000.

Relevant entities that have not already filed with the RBO are advised to do so as a matter of urgency in order to avoid prosecution.


Newly incorporated entities are reminded that they must file their beneficial ownership details with the RBO within five months of incorporation.

Filing must be done online at www.rbo.gov.ie  – there are no paper forms or filing fees.

And a Brexit preparedness checklist is now available to help businesses identify the steps they need to take, now that Britain has exited the EU.

The checklist includes a list of supports available to businesses, along with the contact details of the agencies that administer these supports. 

A ‘practical-steps’ booklet also outlines nine key steps, including understanding the new rules for importing from, or exporting to, the UK.

Transitionary provisions

All regulation, licencing and certification requirements should be reviewed, as well as contracts and data-management systems.

Britain left the EU as of 31 January, but with transitionary provisions in place until 31 December 2020.

During this period, Britain’s trading relationship with the EU will remain the same. 

Britain will also continue to follow EU rules. During the transition period, it will remain under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, and stay within the single market and the customs union.


All EU regulations will continue to apply to Britain, including changes made to these regulations during this period. 

However, thereafter, if no agreement is in place, UK-resident directors will be required to comply with section 137 of the Companies Act 2014. This is the requirement to have an EEA-resident director or, if not, to post a €25,000 bond in respect of any potential tax liabilities.

For further information on how Brexit may affect your business, visit the Government of Ireland Brexit website at www.gov.ie/brexit.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland