UBO Register after ECJ’s Preliminary Ruling

On the basis of EU law, each legal entity has one or more ultimate beneficial owners (UBOs). An UBO is always an individual. An individual having more than 25% of the shares, more than 25% of the voting rights more than 25% of the economic benefit or has control in a legal entity, qualifies as UBO. Every EU Member State has its own national UBO register for legal entities. These national UBO registers were open to the public. This article deals with the ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) to prohibit unrestricted access to the UBO register to the public. EU Member States are obliged to amend national legislation accordingly. This article also provides an overview of the consequences of the ECJ’s ruling in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom.