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The Information You Have to Disclose for Beneficial Ownership

Nicole on 4 June 2024
The Information You Have to Disclose for Beneficial Ownership

South Africa's recent push for transparency of businesses has led to the introduction of Beneficial Ownership regulations.

This might sound complex, but it's essentially about knowing who truly owns and controls a company. Here's a breakdown to help you understand what information you are obligated to share as a beneficial owner.

You are a beneficial owner if you:

  • Own a significant amount of the company's shares (usually 10% or more)
  • Hold the power to make major decisions for the company
  • Receive a significant portion of the company's profits

What Information Needs to be Disclosed?

You'll need to disclose information about your beneficial owners to the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC). This information includes:

  • Full Name: The legal name of each beneficial owner.
  • Residential Address: Their physical address.
  • Nationality: Their country of citizenship.
  • Nature and Extent of Beneficial Interest: This explains how they qualify as a beneficial owner (e.g., shareholding percentage, control over decision-making).

When Do I Need to Disclose?

The deadlines for disclosure depend on when your company was established:

What Happens if I Don't Comply?

The CIPC takes compliance seriously, and failing to disclose beneficial ownership can lead to hefty penalties such as fines, director disqualification and shutting down your business.

How Can I Get Help with Compliance?

The process can seem daunting, but Govchain has created streamlined online services to make it easier for you.

If you have any questions or uncertainties, reach out to our support team at [email protected]

By following these steps and staying informed, you can ensure your business is compliant with the Beneficial Ownership Disclosure regulations in South Africa.