Beneficial ownership declaration forms: Guide for regulators and designers

  • Publication date: 17 March 2021


While supporting countries with their beneficial ownership (BO) legislation and systems, Open Ownership (OO) has seen multiple challenges involved in the creation of declaration forms. These can be caused by ambiguities, inconsistencies, under-specified requirements, and even errors in the laws and regulations mandating the collection of BO information. Although these may only become evident when countries design or use forms to collect beneficial ownership data, resolving them may mean revisiting the regulations that forms are based on.

In general, challenges can be overcome with a collaborative, considered approach to form design. Regulators and persons designing forms need to work together and consult with the companies and individuals who will be the end users of the declaration process.

This guide introduces a number of considerations for form development, and presents a worked example of a form which addresses these issues. The form and the guide together are intended to be a useful reference for people involved in the design and development of regulations and data collection forms for beneficial ownership transparency.

The example form is presented as a spreadsheet so that it can be shared, commented on, or developed as an outline for a webform. However, the collection of beneficial ownership information is best undertaken by webform, where resources and context allow. Webforms allow better onward handling of the data. However, in some jurisdictions, factors like the number of company declarations or the level of digitisation of related systems might make paper or spreadsheet forms a more feasible option.

If you are interested in partnering with Open Ownership to develop beneficial ownership forms and to advance beneficial ownership transparency, please contact [email protected], to discuss the support we could provide. Access OO’s Example Beneficial Ownership Declaration Form as a Google spreadsheet. The form can be copied and used as a Google Sheet, or downloaded as an Excel file.

Next page: Features of a good quality beneficial ownership declaration form