Beneficial owners

Beneficial owners are natural persons who ultimately, directly or indirectly own or control a sufficient proportion of a company.

In the Act, a beneficial owner is defined as a natural person who ultimately owns or controls a company through direct or indirect ownership of a sufficient percentage of the shares or voting rights, or through control via other means.

A sufficient percentage of the shares or voting rights corresponds to ownership or control of more than 25% of the company. This, however, is only an indication of beneficial ownership.

A person may also be considered a beneficial owner, if the shares or voting rights is 25% or less. This may be the case if a person owns i.e. 15% of the shares, but also holds the right to appoint members for the board of directors.

Companies must obtain information about persons that ultimately owns or controls the company and the nature and extent of the beneficial interest held. On this basis, companies must make a concrete assessment of who are the  beneficial owners of the company. Deadline for registration is 1 December 2017.

What must be registered?

Companies must register information about natural persons who are the company's beneficial owner(s) and information of the nature and extent of the beneficial interest held.

If the company has no beneficial owners, or if the company is unable to identify its beneficial owners, this information must be registered. The company’s management must then be registered as beneficial owners instead.

Every time ownership is added or changed, all stakeholders will be notified of the registration.

Ownership information is publicly available in the Central Business Register (CVR) on Virk

Information about ownership can be looked up through CVR on Virk. You can look up a company and see who the registered owners are, and you can look up a person and see for which companies, the person is registered as an owner.