Is the information about the UAE ultimate beneficial owners publicly available?

Since 2020, as the Regulation of the Procedures of the Real Beneficiary became effective, the ultimate beneficial ownership requirements in the UAE have changed. It is now required for the UAE companies to keep a register of the Ultimate Beneficial Owners (UBOs) and submit this information to relevant authorities, always keeping it up to date in case any changes occur. The information about the UBOs, however, is not public, and only Governmental authorities can access it.

The UBO is defined as:

  • Any natural person who owns or controls at least 25% of the total issued share capital of the company, whether through a direct or indirect ownership or control, or any natural person who has the right to appoint or dismiss the majority of the directors of the company.
  • If no natural person meets the first criteria, or the identity of the beneficial owner is questionable, the natural person who manages or administers the company is considered to be the beneficial owner.
  • If the company is not able to identify a person that meets the criteria under the first and second points, the beneficial owner is considered to be the natural person or the legal entity who is the senior manager of the company.

Prior to starting your business in the UAE, in order to avoid any unexpected issues in the future, it is strongly recommended to discuss your business model and planned activities with local legal and tax advisors. This way, any potential liabilities will be evaluated, and it will be made sure that all procedures, which become costly if not performed on time, are completed. If you would like to consult about the UBO registration in UAE in more detail, feel free to contact Nomad Law advisors and we will provide all necessary support you might need.

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