On 12 February 2021, a notice on the extension period for submission of information of beneficial ownership was published through the Companies Notice* made under the Companies Act**. In this article, we discuss the concept of beneficial ownership and address the new timeline for filing information about beneficial owners.

Beneficial ownership

The concept of beneficial ownership in Tanzania company law was introduced in the Companies Act through amendment by the Finance Act No. 8 of 2020 (the Finance Act). A beneficial owner is a natural person who either owns, controls or is entitled to a substantial economic interest, whether directly or indirectly, over a company. A person who exercises significant control over another person related to a company is also considered as a beneficial owner.

The Finance Act has introduced several other changes to the Companies Act with regards to beneficial ownership, such as:

  • Submitting up-to-date records of the beneficial owners of a company to the Registrar of Companies (Registrar) when registering the Memorandum and Articles of Association
  • Including information about the beneficial owners in the register of members
  • Including records of beneficial owners in the company’s annual return.

Currently, no subsidiary legislations for the implementation of the beneficial ownership requirement have been published.

Extension period

Prior to the Notice, companies incorporated before 1 July 2020 were given six months from 1 July 2020 to submit beneficial ownership information to the Registrar, which made 1 January 2021 the initial deadline. The deadline has now been extended to 1 January 2022.