Do you have an offshore entity holding property in the UK? Then an impending requirement of the UK Government may affect you.

The Government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy proposes to deliver the world’s first register of overseas companies and other legal entities that own property in the UK, as part of the Government’s drive to build a fair economy. At this stage it is merely set out as a “call for evidence”, asking overseas investors for their opinions on how the register could best be delivered.

The information brochure produced by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, sets out the reasons behind the setting up of a Register of Beneficial Owners of Overseas Companies and Other Legal Entities.

The brochure raises a number of questions and discusses information which may be required in the future with regard to overseas entities. The guidance suggests that overseas entities will be required to identify and confirm their beneficial ownership to Companies House, which will then allocate the overseas entity with a registration number. This overseas registration number will then be required to complete the registration of the property at the Land Registry and validly transfer legal title to the property. Failure to supply a valid overseas registration number to the Land Registry will mean that the application is cancelled, the transfer of title will not be registered and the overseas entity will not become the legal owner.

There is a consultation that will remain open until 5 pm today, should you wish to make any comments. At this stage, there is no information as to when the register will come into force as the call for evidence only opened on 5 April 2017.