Comprehensive coverage

Disclosure should comprehensively cover all relevant types of legal entities and natural persons

  • All relevant legal entities and arrangements, and all relevant natural persons (i.e. people), should be included in disclosures.
  • Any exemptions from the disclosure requirements should be clearly defined and justified, and reassessed on an ongoing basis. Information on the basis for exemption should be collected, or the ownership of such entities should be collected elsewhere with comparable levels of quality and access (e.g. for publicly listed companies (PLCs)).
  • A shielding regime allowing certain natural persons at serious risk (e.g. domestic abuse or kidnapping) to restrict the disclosure of certain information should be in place, and should be proportionate and justified.
  • Particular attention should be given to the disclosure requirements relating to specific categories of companies, including state owned enterprises (SOEs) and PLCs listed on exchanges with insufficient disclosure requirements.

Comprehensive coverage of different entity types is important because if certain types of legal entities and arrangements are not covered, potential loopholes form that can be exploited for illegitimate purposes. Similarly, the disclosure requirements should cover all categories of natural persons (for example, domestic and foreign citizens who meet the definition of beneficial owner) to avoid creating a loophole that could be exploited in order to avoid disclosing ownership.

Disclosure regimes should take the inclusion of all types of entities and categories of people as a starting point, and subsequently assess which entities and people can be excluded, for instance on the basis of risk, and make these assessments and justifications public.


Implementation Guide
OpenOwnership · May 2020

A step-by-step guide to implementing beneficial ownership transparency.

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