In order to comply with the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) laws, Estonia has established that companies registered in Estonia must specify who are their beneficial owners.
This process, although a mere formality, is mandatory, and does not have any repercussions beyond complying with the AML law. However, failure to comply before the deadline can result in fines or penalties.
In this article, we explain how to comply with this simple legal requirement.
What is a beneficial owner?
Here is an in-depth technical explanation, but let us explain it in simple words below:
The beneficial owners are those people who have control over important decisions of the company or own a significant percentage of it. Specifically, if you hold 25% or more of the shares, you are a director or board member, or you have a representation of 50% or more of the votes, you are a beneficial owner. If you are a customer of Your Company In Estonia, you are probably the beneficial owner of your company.
Can you do this for me?
Unfortunately, only the director of the company, or a member of the board of directors, can perform this procedure.
Nevertheless, the process is quite simple and it takes less than 5 minutes. Below, we explain it step by step. All you will need is your laptop, your e-Resident card, and the USB card reader.
How to Specify the Beneficial Owner of Your Company, Step by Step
First, log into the Estonian business registration portal (e-Business register).
Simply click on “LOGIN” at the top right. Then choose “Access with card” (ID-KAART). Remember that you must have the card correctly inserted in the USB reader of your e-Resident pack. It will request the PIN1 of the card.
Upon login, go to the “Related traders” section. You will see that next to the name of your company, there is a yellow notice that reads “Beneficial owners not appointed”.
Clicking on “Beneficial owners not appointed” will take you to a list where all possible beneficial owners of the company will have been pre-filled. If you are the only member of the company, there will only be you in this list. If your company has several shareholders and/or members of the board, then all potential beneficiaries should be pre-filled also. If in doubt, consult us.
In most cases, all you need to do is click on “Add” for each of the members that appear in the list.
Next, a window will open for you to check that your data is correct and then click on “Add”.
Now you just need to repeat the same process for all other members of the company. That’s all!
Lost, Need Help?
Do not panic. If you get lost, we will be happy to assist you via Skype, video conference or phone.
We want to help you get rid of paperwork, red tape, and obscure and unfair tax systems, and allow you to focus on growing your business.
How? Launching and running your business completely online in Estonia thanks to the e-Residency program. We'll take care of registering your company, bookkeeping, accountancy and taxes for you. Sounds good?
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