Updated FAQ Regarding the Belgian UBO Register

In mid-February, we informed you that the Federal Public Service for Finance (“FPS Finance”) had once again postponed the deadline for submission by obliged entities of information about their ultimate beneficial owners to the UBO register, until 30 September 2019, but that unfortunately the list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) had not yet been updated. The updated version has now been published.

The updated FAQ (NL - FR) were posted on 2 April 2019 on the website of FPS Finance. The update provides useful clarifications and confirms certain interpretations of the administration's positions.

For example, the updated FAQ clarifies the following points:

  1. Identification of an indirect UBO: nine examples of situations are now given in order to illustrate the approach to be adopted.
  2. Identification of UBOs when the intermediate entity is a non-profit, international non-profit, foundation, trust, fiduciary or similar legal construct: in this case, all persons identified as UBOs of the intermediate entity must be listed as UBOs of the obliged entity.
  3. Identification of UBOs in the event of a split or indivisible title: the bare owner will be registered as a UBO if its holds more than 25% of the shares representing capital; the beneficial owner (usufructuary) will be registered as a UBO if it holds more than 25% of the voting rights attached to the securities representing capital. Once again, examples are provided to illustrate the various situations.
  4. Interpretation of the concept of senior managing official: if, after having exhausted all possible means, no UBO possessing or controlling the obliged entity is identified, the natural person(s) who hold(s) the position of senior managing official(s) will be registered as its UBO. The FAQ confirm that this term indicates persons employed by the company who exert decisive influence over its management and that it can refer to the CEO, the chair of the management committee or, in the absence thereof, a director, manager, person entrusted with daily management, etc.
  5. Connection to the platform without an e-ID: it will henceforth be possible to register with a registry office (bureau d'enregistrement) in order to be able to access the electronic platform of the UBO register without an e-ID.
  6. Submission of supporting documents with the UBO declaration: it is not required but is possible to clarify the declaration by submitting additional documents (for example, an organisational chart).

It should be noted that the FPS Finance has also posted on its website three new documents which may prove useful:

  1. OECD/IDB, A Beneficial Ownership Toolkit, 2019
  2. Procedure for the authentication of foreigners who do not have a Belgian e-ID (NL - FR)
  3. Creation of a UBO power-of-attorney for foreigners (NL - FR)