Beneficial ownership declaration forms: Guide for regulators and designers

  • Publication date: 17 March 2021

Aligning forms with the company register (or other company-centred database)

Duplication of information creates unnecessary overheads. Companies may be submitting information to state and regional authorities on several fronts. For example, a company may be domestically registered and required to maintain accurate details on a state business registry. It may also be listed as an officially recognised provider of services on a government database, or submit documentation as part of its applications for an oil, gas, or mining license.

The form used for collecting BO information should complement existing systems. That means that, if possible, the form should link to those other systems, or draw information from them, rather than require firms to submit information multiple times. The benefits of such alignment are two-fold. For companies, the administrative burden is minimised (for instance, if they change their registered address they need only notify one authority). For government and official authorities, they will spend less time resolving conflicting information about the same company across multiple systems.

Alignment between systems can necessitate changes to other existing systems. For example, if legal ownership information is already held by the company registration system, the data might need to be structured in a different way to meet the requirements of BO declaration.

The key mechanisms for aligning systems are: requiring and verifying company identifiers (e.g. company number and business register); drawing in information from other systems; and administrators referring out to records in other systems.

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