Since 1st August 2022, it has been illegal for overseas entities to own UK property without registering their ownership and keeping an up-to-date record of any changes. If you are not registered by the deadline and are not exempt in any way, you could face serious legal charges, including imprisonment. Because of this, it is essential that you follow the proper steps and get yourself registered with our help.
As leading providers of online company formation services, we will help with this guide and explore the registration of overseas entity processes, including all the deadlines and steps you must consider to register correctly and avoid any legal issues.
What Is the Register of Overseas Entities?
The Register of Overseas Entities was established by The Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022. In the act, an overseas entity is defined as “a legal entity governed by the law of a country or territory outside the United Kingdom”. This also includes any legal entities within the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man.
The register includes a variety of different obligations, including:
- All overseas entities that have bought UK property or land after 1st January 1999 in England and Wales or 8th December 2014 in Scotland but were registered before 31st January 2023.
- All overseas entities that acquire UK property or land after 5th September 2022 must have registered before they complete their acquisition.
- All overseas entities that sold their UK land or property between 28th February and 31st January 2023 must keep their registration log up-to-date by providing their disposal details.
There are serious legal penalties if you are found to not comply with The Register of Overseas Entities, such as:
- £2500 fines per day
- Five-year prison sentence
- Restrictions for dealing with property in the UK, including buying and selling, and transferring
Who Is Required to Register?
As mentioned above, there are different situations that all require someone to register. In broad terms, you must register if you want to be the legal owner of property or land (either freehold or leasehold) in the United Kingdom and are governed outside of the UK.
However, you are not required to register with The Register of Overseas Entities if you are an overseas lender, a security trustee, or an agent.
Deadlines on Registration
There are various deadlines depending on where you own or lease your UK land or property, so it’s important to check the dates carefully to avoid legal issues.
If you acquired your UK land or property after 1st January 1999, you have until 31st January to register even if you disposed of your land or property on or after 28th February 2022.
If you acquired your land or property after 5th September 2022, you must have registered during the process of acquisition and include proof of your registration as part of your application.
Two more important notes to remember is that after your registration has been submitted, a UK-registered agent must submit a statement within 14-days. You must update your registration annually or prove that your current registration is accurate in order to conform to the legal obligations.
The Register of Overseas Entities opened on 1st August 2022, giving those who need to register plenty of time to do so. However, if you need help getting set up, read more below to find out how Company Registrations Online can assist.
How to Register With the Help of CRO?
Here at Company Registrations Online, we’re here to assist you during your registration process to ensure you get everything right and register on time. There are specific steps you must follow:
- Gather information needed to register
- Get a UK registered agent to verify information on beneficial owners, which will allow them to check for evidence to match up identity and proof
- Get the UK registered agent to file a statement
Our CRO Info services guide you through this by completing your overseas searches and submitting all necessary information to Companies House.
Will My Information Be Made Public?
It’s important to note that, once registered, some information will be made public, including the beneficial owners and managing officers. However, Companies House will not show the following information:
- Home addresses
- Email addresses
- Complete dates of birth
- Agent assurance codes
- Information regarding trusts, although this could be shared with HMRC
- The date that verification checks were completed
If you are unsure about any part of the process or need assistance registering an overseas entity, we’re here to help you. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team, and we will be more than happy to guide you through the process to ensure you do not miss any deadlines.