Background and objective

The fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism (LAB / FT) has been a major concern of the FATF member states since the 1980s and on 11 September 2001. In France, with the recent 4th AML Directive * * of May 2015, transposed by the so-called Sapin II law of December 2016, compels companies to declare their beneficial owners, information gathered in a national register.

The objective of this fight is clear: to identify the person or persons actually in charge of the company, so that the public authorities and entities subject to the LAB / FT regulatory obligations can have access to a first level of information. For private entities, due to due diligence measures to be implemented, other sources of information may be required, as the reporting mode may itself generate wilfully false statements from beneficial owners.


How to identify them ?

In the case of enterprises with capital, beneficial Effectives. or ultimate Beneficial Owners (UBO), are the natural persons who either directly or indirectly hold control over the company over more than 25% of the capital or voting rights of the company, or by any other means exercise control over the company.

Where no natural person has been identified in accordance with the foregoing criteria, the beneficial owner shall be the natural person or persons legally representing the company. If the legal representative is a legal person, the beneficial owner is the natural person or persons legally representing that legal person.

For enterprises without capital (associations, foundations, sole proprietorships), the beneficial owner is either :

  • The legal representative (s) of the association;
  • The President, the Director-General and, where appropriate, the member (s) of the Executive Board of the Foundation;
  • The President of the Endowment Fund;
  • The natural person or persons and, where appropriate, the Permanent Representative of legal persons, designated as directors of the economic interest group.
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