Local business owners, who do not use registered office providers, will need to file their beneficial ownership information with General Registry by Saturday, June 30.
Once filed, the information will be stored on the Cayman Islands Government’s centralized beneficial ownership platform. By storing it centrally, government will be able to more quickly provide it, through appropriate legal mechanisms, to international law enforcement, tax and regulatory authorities.
The filing requirement applies to businesses that do not use a licensed service provider, such as a law firm or a corporate administration company, as their registered office.
The information can only be filed through registry’s secure online system, the Cayman Business Portal.
“For businesses that use service providers, your service providers should already be aware of their responsibility to file beneficial ownership information on your behalf, by June 30,” Registrar General Cindy Jefferson-Bulgin said.
Under Cayman law a beneficial owner holds, directly or indirectly, more than 25 percent of the shares or voting rights in a company; or has the right to appoint or remove a majority of the board of directors of the company. If no individual in the company meets these conditions, the beneficial owner is the person who has significant influence or control over the company, through either direct or indirect ownership.
However, this does not apply if control is solely exercised in the capacity of a manager, director or adviser.
Beneficial owners of companies are required to submit their full legal name; their residential or postal address; date of birth; identification documents; and when they became or ceased to be a beneficial owner of the company.
There are penalties for business owners if they do not register and continue to operate after the June 30 registration deadline.
In extreme cases companies can be struck off the companies register and the assets of the company can be vested with government, under the Companies Law.
“The Registrar of Companies has taken a number of steps, including directly emailing business owners and airing radio public service announcements, to encourage persons to submit their beneficial ownership information,” Ms. Jefferson-Bulgin said.
“And just to remind business owners, they must register with the [Cayman Business Portal] first, before they submit this information. So, I encourage them to register with CBP as soon as possible, in order to meet the June 30 deadline for submitting their beneficial ownership information,” she said.
To help business owners with their Cayman Business Portal registrations, General Registry will be open between 5-7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, starting Tuesday, June 19 and ending Thursday, June 28.
General Registry’s offices are located on the ground floor of the Government Administration Building.