Overseas entities that own UK property must register at Companies House before 1 February 2023 to avoid penalties and restrictions
Overseas entities that currently hold UK land must be registered on the Register of Overseas Entities held by Companies House no later than 1 February 2023.
If registration is not completed by this date, the entity and its officers may face criminal sanctions in the form of fines of up to £2,500 and in some cases, a prison sentence of up to five years and the overseas entity will be restricted from buying or disposing of the land.
In addition, overseas entities that acquire UK land after 5 September 2022 will not be able to register the legal title at the Land Registry, or further deal with the property unless registered on the Register of Overseas Entities held by Companies House.
The information required to register includes the overseas entity’s name, country of incorporation and registered office and the date of birth, nationality, residential address and service address of each beneficial owner, or in some cases the managing officer(s) of the entity. Once an overseas entity is registered, it will be issued with an overseas entity ID number and will be required to update the information on the register of overseas entities annually. The information on the register will be publicly available (excluding the day of the month on which an individual is born, the residential address of anyone who is registered and, where a beneficial owner is a trustee, the information in relation to the trust).
Overseas entities that have not already registered at Companies House should take immediate steps to identify any UK land held or UK land that it intends to acquire and, where appropriate, start the registration process. The level of complexity of the information required to complete the registration will vary from company to company and a detailed analysis may be required. We will be happy to advise on how the rules apply, the necessary steps to register and the potential impact of the Act on any pending property transactions.