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Beneficial Ownership Act in the Seychelles

27 January 2021

Following the enactment of the Beneficial Ownership Act 2020 (the Act) Seychelles has adopted centralized beneficial ownership register with confidential regime of data storage.

The requirements under the Act are applicable both to legal persons incorporated in Seychelles (as resident companies of any legal form, so IBC companies) and to legal arrangements, such as partnerships, trusts and other similar structures.

Duties of beneficial owners

“DECLARATION OF BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP FOR EXISTING BENEFICIAL OWNERS

Upon the coming into force of the BO Act, existing beneficial owners will not be required to submit the Declaration of Beneficial Ownership.

The responsibility to identify and verify the existing beneficial owners will be on the legal person or legal arrangement directly. Where the legal person or legal arrangement knows or has reasonable grounds to believe that a person is a beneficial owner, under section 9(2)(b) of the BO Act, the legal person or legal arrangement shall require the beneficial owner to provide, confirm or correct the registrable particulars. Every person who becomes a new BO after the coming into force of the BO Act must submit the Declaration of Beneficial Ownership.

DISCLOSURE OF CHANGE OF BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP INFORMATION

Every person on becoming a beneficial owner in relation to legal person or legal arrangement is required to submit a declaration of beneficial ownership containing the registrable particulars relating to the person within 14 days from the date of becoming the beneficial owner to the legal person or legal arrangement. Upon receiving the information, the legal person or arrangement shall submit the declaration to the resident agent who shall update the register of beneficial owners.”

Centralized beneficial ownership database

Information from beneficial ownership registers, both kept by registered agents of companies and legal arrangements and in centralized database, is confidential and is not subject to public disclosure. The access to centralized database will be granted to the authorities of Seychelles.

Entering into force

The Act enters into force for Seychelles companies, legal arrangements and registered agents from 31 January 2021. Pursuant to Section 18 of the Beneficial Ownership Act, 2020 (“BO Act”), all legal persons and legal arrangements are required to comply with all the provisions of the BO Act by May 31, 2021.

Source: https://www.fsaseychelles.sc/aml-cft-framework/#beneficial_ownership

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