Legal Rules to introduce Beneficial Owner Regime

 

Effective from 1st July 2017, the Company (Amendment) Law, the Limited Liability Company (Amendment) Law, the Beneficial Ownership (Companies) Regulation, and the Beneficial Ownership (Limited Liability Company) Regulations, (collectively called "the Legal Rules") came into operation.

Cayman Islands Companies or Limited Liability Companies are under a legal obligation to set up a beneficial ownership register (the BO register), identify registrable persons, send out notice to obtain confirmation of their status and particulars, and record the required particulars and any relevant change thereafter, and periodically upload the current information to a centralized search platform maintained by the Cayman Islands authorities.

 

Grace Period and Sanctions

 

The applicable companies or LLCs have a grace period of one year commencing from 1st July 2017 to implement the above requirements.

 

Section 274 provides that a company that knowingly and willfully contravenes the requirements to establish the B.O. Register and identify registrable persons under section 247(1), 248(1), 252, 253(1) or 255(2) or knowingly and willfully fails to issue a notice as required by section 249, 255 or 256(3) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction for each such contravention -

(a) to a fine of twenty-five thousand dollars; and

(b) if the offence is a continuing one, to a fine of five hundred dollars for each day or part of a day during which the offence continues, up to a maximum of twenty-five thousand dollars.

 

Section 275 provides that 

(1) a person to whom a notice under section 249 or 255 is addressed commits an offence if the person -

(a) knowingly and willfully fails to comply with the notice; or 

(b) in purported compliance with the notice - (i) makes a statement that the person knows to be false in a material particular; or (ii) recklessly makes a statement that is false in a material particular.

(2) A person does not commit an offence under subsection (1)(a) if the person proves that the requirement to give information was frivolous or vexatious.

(3) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable -

(a) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term of two years or a fine of ten thousand dollars, or to both;

(b) on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term of twelve months or a fine of five thousand dollars, or to both.

 

Section 276 provides that 

(1) A person commits an offence if the person - (a) knowingly and willfully fails to comply with a duty under section 250 or 257 within the time required by that section; or (b) in purported compliance with such a duty - (i) makes a statement that the person knows to be false in a material particular; or (ii) recklessly makes a statement that is false in a material particular.

(2) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable - (a) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or a fine of ten thousand dollars, or to both; (b) on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term of twelve months or to a fine of five thousand dollars, or to both.

 

Section 278 provides that  

(1) Where a company or a legal entity is guilty of an offence under this Part, and it is proved that the offence was committed with the consent or connivance of, or was attributable to willful default on the part of a director or other officer concerned in the management of the company or legal entity, the director or other officer is guilty of the same offence and liable to the same penalty as the company or legal entity.

(2) In subsection (1), “director” includes a member, in relation to a company whose affairs are managed by its members. 

 

Defined Terms

 

"Beneficial owner" as defined under section 247 means:

(1) Companies to which this Part applies shall take reasonable steps to identify any individual who is a beneficial owner of the company.

(2) For the purpose of identifying individuals who are beneficial owners under subsection (1), a company is entitled to rely, without further enquiry, on the response of a person to a notice in writing sent in good faith by the company, unless the company has reason to believe that the response is misleading or false.

(3) An individual (“X”) is a beneficial owner of a company (“company Y”) if the individual meets one or more of the following conditions in relation to the company-

(a) X must hold, directly or indirectly, more than 25% of the shares in company Y; 

1983年的武则天三级(b) X must hold, directly or indirectly, more than 25% of the voting rights in company Y;

(c) X must hold the right, directly or indirectly, to appoint or remove a majority of the board of directors of company Y.

(4) If no individual meets the conditions in subsection (3), X is a beneficial owner of company Y if X has the absolute and unconditional legal right to exercise, or actually exercises, significant influence or control over company Y through the ownership structure or interests described in subsection (3), other than solely in the capacity of a director, professional advisor or professional manager.

(5) If no individual meets the conditions in subsections (3) and (4) but the trustees of a trust (or the members of a partnership or other entity that, under the law by which it is governed is not a legal person) meet one of those conditions in relation to company Y in their capacity as such, X is a beneficial owner of company Y if X has the absolute and unconditional legal right to exercise, or actually exercises, significant influence or control over the activities of that trust (or partnership or other entity), other than solely in the capacity of a director, professional advisor or professional manager. 

 

"Required particulars" means particulars in respect of a registrable person required to be kept in a company's beneficial ownership register pursuant to sections 253 and 254 of the Companies Law (2016 version).

 

"Rregistrable person" means an individual or relevant legal entity that is a registrable person under section 251. 

 

Legal Rules

 

The following legal rules are scheduled to become effective on 1st July 2017:

The Companies (Amendment Law) 2017; []

The Beneficial Ownership (Companies) Regulation 2017; []

1983年的武则天三级The Limited Liability Company (Amendment) Law 2017; []

1983年的武则天三级The Beneficial Ownership (Limited Liability Companies) Regulations 2017 []

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