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Who's REALLY in Charge? New Law Makes Businesses Reveal True Owners

Nicole on 24 May 2024
Who's REALLY in Charge? New Law Makes Businesses Reveal True Owners

The South African government recently made a massive regulation change to fight financial crime and help uplift the economy. Now, businesses are required to reveal who truly owns them, not just the name on a piece of paper. This is called Beneficial Ownership.

Why the Change?

Before, criminals could hide by using companies with unknown owners. This made it easier for them to steal money, cheat people and commit financial crimes - often without consequences. Other countries became hesitant to do business with South Africa because they weren't sure who was really running companies, and the country ended up being grey listed. This hurt the economy and made it harder for businesses to grow.

What is Beneficial Ownership?

Beneficial Ownership is about finding out the real people who:

  • Own a lot of the company (shares)
  • Make the big decisions
  • Receive profits from the company

If you own a business in South Africa, you will need to give the government information about your Beneficial Owners, like their name, address, and nationality in the form of a Beneficial Interest Register.

If you're unsure about the rules or how they apply to you, contact Govchain's Support Team to fill you in and help you to get on track with this new requirement.