Following a consultation in April 2017, the UK government has announced that from 2021 a register of information of beneficial ownership of overseas companies and other entities that own or purchase UK property is to be maintained.

It is expected that the register will be based on the people with significant control (PSC) register which was launched in April 2016 and, accordingly, would require disclosure of 25% direct or indirect beneficial owners of the property.

Once the register has been launched, in order for an overseas entity to take ownership of UK property it will be required to apply for registration and provide its beneficial ownership information. This could have timing implications for real estate transactions where an overseas entity is acquiring UK property, particularly where a newly incorporated overseas vehicle is making the acquisition.

It is understood that overseas entities that already own UK property will have one year from the start of the register to comply.

More details will be provided when draft legislation is published and we will update you further accordingly.