Royal Decree extends obligations for UBOs of Belgian legal entities

On September 23, 2020 a Royal Decree amending 2018 procedures on beneficial ownership (UBO) register of legal entities and introducing new disclosure obligations was published in Belgium.

The major changes involve:

  • The percentage of shares or voting rights in Belgian companies, which before had to be reported only if the beneficial owner controlled the company directly, now has to be disclosed even in cases when the ownership structure involves intermediate entities.
  • If the control in the Belgian company is held through other means, the beneficial owner must specify through which means the company is controlled.

Disclosure obligations will require the support of adequate, accurate and current documentation, which will be available only to competent authorities.

Certain other information on the following UBOs of international non-profit organizations (I)NPOs and foundations will instead be publicly accessible to citizen (with or without a legitimate interest):

  • For foundations and NPOs, the members of the board of directors and individuals in charge of the daily management;
  • for (I)NPOs, individuals who are entitled to represent it;
  • for foundations, the names of the founders.

Furthermore, trusts and fiduciaries established outside Belgium, but having a link with Belgium (eg owning real estate in the country), must also report their UBOs to the register, and since this is possible only through a company number, they would firstly need to register in the Crossroads Bank for Enterprises.