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New amendment to the Act on Public Registers of Legal Entities and Natural Persons (13/11/2017)

13.11.2017

An amendment to Act No. 304/2013 Coll. on Public Registers of Legal Entities and Natural Persons (the "Act") took effect on January 1, 2018. This amendment introduces a new fifth section concerning the registration of the details of beneficial owners. Legal entities that are registered in public registers under the Act and any trustees must ensure the registration of beneficial owners, as defined in Act No. 253/2008 Coll. on Selected Measures against the Legalising of Criminal Proceeds and the Financing of Terrorism.

The registration of beneficial owners will be handled by registration courts. The records will not be part of the public register and the details of beneficial owners will not appear in public extracts. Data about beneficial owners will only be available to selected state agencies and other entities defined in the Act.

The Act also states that these records will only be released if the identity of the individuals accessing the information can be ascertained. More details are forthcoming in a ministerial regulation to be based on the Act.

Legal entities or trustees must ensure that the information remains available while the natural person in question is the beneficial owner and for 10 years subsequently.

As of January 1, 2008, information about the beneficial owners will also be reflected in public tenders conducted under Act No. 134/2016 Coll. on Public Contracts.

All legal entities registered in the Commercial Register should ensure the registration of relevant beneficial owners before the amendment to the Act takes effect. The fee for registration of a beneficial owner is CZK 1,000, however entities registered in the public register before January 1, 2018 will be exempt from the fee for one year from the effective date of the amendment.