The use of beneficial ownership data by private entities

  • Publication date: 31 March 2022
  • Author: Sadaf Lakhani

Publication type
Research report


Private sector


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Open Ownership (OO) commissioned Cognitiks to conduct research during 2020-2021 on private sector actors’ use of beneficial ownership data, including different use cases, primary drivers, challenges, and trends and emerging issues.

The research found that of the private entities surveyed, the biggest driver of BO data use is compliance with government regulations. However, challenges in using BO data such as availability and quality constrict the potential for businesses to use BO data for compliance and unlock BO data’s full potential in areas beyond compliance.

Currently, shortcomings in the data are being addressed through costly and highly time-consuming, sometimes manual, processes by third party data providers. Whilst BO data providers add genuine value, in many cases their resources are largely spent on addressing basic issues which government registers could address.

Governments are best placed to address these challenges and to collect, verify, and publish BO data, and should do so to facilitate private sector compliance with regulations and unlock additional benefits of BO data use by the private sector.

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