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Implementation of the UBO-registration requirement in 30 EU and EEA countries


By 10 January 2020 an obligation for UBO registration within the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA) had to be implemented. This obligation derives from the fourth and fifth Anti-Money Laundry Directive (the Directive). This PwC publication builds on the previous PwC research work of December 2019 and includes an overview of five specific aspects in relation to which the obligation for UBO registration shows remarkable differences in 30 EU/EEA countries, in the United Kingdom and Gibraltar.

The updated 2020 PwC publication is available here.

The research work has been concluded on 8 June 2020 and has been conducted by the Tax Knowledge Centre of PwC the Netherlands. More information on our previous research work is available here.

implementation ubo registration in 30 countries

Mandatory implementation of a public UBO registration

The Directive obliges the EU/EEA countries to apply a public UBO registration. The Directive prescribes a minimum standard. EU/EEA countries can thus opt for a broader registration.

It is clear that several countries went beyond the minimum standard introduced by the Directive.

This finding led us to conduct a comparative research on the following five specific aspects of the UBO registration with the help of PwC’s European network:

  • The applicable threshold which determines the UBO: ‘more than 25%’ vs. ‘25% or more’ 
  • The UBO registration requirement is limited to entities established within the country’s territory or to legal arrangements governed by the country’s law
  • Exceptions to the registration requirement for various bodies
  • UBO information is automatically shielded in case of minors, and
  • Obligation to register at least one UBO (a pseudo-UBO in case a real UBO is absent). 

Contact us

Rob Janssen

Rob Janssen

Partner, PwC Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)65 364 55 53

Niels Govers

Niels Govers

Partner Family Business, PwC Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)62 906 82 17

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