Fines, fines (and more) fines

You may have heard of the Beneficial Owners Register. And you've probably also read that if you co-own a limited liability company with your wife, you don't have to deal with anything, because the authority will take care of everything for you and automatically enter the data from the Commercial Register into the Beneficial Owners Register. Wrong. Indeed, this is often not the case.

So click on the Beneficial Owners Register Information System and check whether you have entered the details in the Beneficial Owners Register at all and, if so, whether they are correct. You only have time until 1 December 2021 when the deadline set by the Beneficial Owners Register Act for making such an entry expires. The failure to list a natural person who is the beneficial owner can result in a fine of up to CZK 500,000.

However, the financial penalty is not the only thing to worry about. In the event of an incorrect entry, the company may also be prohibited from paying out a share in profit or exercising the shareholders‘ voting rights at the general meeting.

And who is actually entered in the Beneficial Owners Register? Direct owners (e.g. shareholders or stakeholders), persons who directly or indirectly have a share in profit or other interest in the company of at least 25%, persons who can directly or indirectly exercise decisive influence on the operation of the company, as well as members of statutory bodies (corporate agents, CEOs, members of the board of directors) who will be considered beneficial owners in the cases where it is not possible to determine the direct owners of companies (e.g. if they are foreign entities).