The Register of Overseas Entities (ROE) was introduced by the UK government on the 1st August 2022 to provide greater transparency about the beneficial owners of UK property and land. The ROE is operated by Companies House.
ROE forms part of the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022 that came into force on the 15th March 2022 and includes several new measures to help prevent money laundering in the UK. The new legislation helps to identify and prosecute foreign criminals who attempt to use UK property transactions for money laundering or other criminal activity.
An overseas entity is a company or organisation that is governed by the law of a country or territory outside of the UK. Any overseas entities who wishes to buy, sell or transfer UK property or land must register on the ROE. The legislation also applies retrospectively to overseas entities who purchased property on or after:
Overseas entities who purchased qualifying property after these dates must register with Companies House before the deadline of 31 January 2023 and provide the identity of the beneficial owner(s) of the company.
The government defines a beneficial owner as any individual or entity that has significant control over the overseas entity. This could apply to:
A beneficial owner is one of the entities listed above who meet the following conditions:
By having clear definitions of who qualifies as a beneficial owner, it is easier to identify overseas entities who are trying to hide their identity to evade prosecution for criminal activity such as money laundering.
Any overseas entities who do not comply with the legislation will no longer be able to purchase, sell or transfer property. In order to apply to HM Land Registry to become the registered owner of a UK property of land, an overseas entity will need an Oversees Entity ID.
One of the requirements for registering on the ROE is that the company must be verified by an agent who is approved by Companies House. ProSec is an approved agent and can provide verification for qualifying overseas entities.
As we have expertise in the legal responsibilities of overseas entities, we can support legitimate overseas entities to ensure compliance. Contact us to find out more information about our compliance services and the ROE verification process.