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Family business alert 2019-01

Family business alert 2019-01



Louis Thomas

Partner, Commerce & Industry Tax

KPMG in Luxembourg


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UBOs: your identity to be publicly accessible from 1 September 2019—are you ready?

On 15 January 2019, the law passed on 18 December 2018 (n°7217) was published in Luxembourg’s Official Gazette. The law introduces a register, ‘Registre des bénéficiaires effectifs’ (RBE), for the Ultimate Beneficial Owners (UBOs) of legal entities. The main objective of this new law is the transposition of article 30 of the 4th AMLD, which requires the implementation of such registers in every Member State to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism.


The main purpose of the RBE is to preserve and make available up-to-date information about the identity of the UBOs of registered entities.

A UBO is defined in article 1, §7 of the amended law of 12 November 2004 against ML/FT as any person who ultimately owns a sufficient percentage of shares of a legal entity through direct or indirect ownership or who has formal or effective control over a legal entity (shareholding or ownership of more than 25%). In case of doubt or if no person with this profile can be found, the UBO should be the person holding the position of the senior manager of the entity.

Companies and legal entities must provide the administrator of the RBE—the ‘Groupement d’intérêts économiques Luxembourg Business Registers’—with the UBO’s first name(s) and name, nationality(-ies), date of birth, place of birth, country of residence, private or professional address, identification number, and extent and nature of the beneficial interest held in the relevant corporation.

Accessible to whom?

The register, which was initially limited to certain persons, will now be accessible to anyone regardless of their nationality or legitimate interest. Only the private or professional address and identification number of the UBOs will not be disclosed to the public.

Nevertheless, the draft law foresees an access restriction in case there is a risk that the UBO would be exposed to a disproportionate risk—a risk of fraud, kidnapping, blackmail, extortion, harassment, violence, intimidation, or if the UBO is a minor (or otherwise incapacitated).


The application for transcription on the register is done by the legal entities electronically via a secured portal of the administrator. The access to the register will be granted electronically with a strong and secured identification process.

Criminal fines would range from EUR 1,250 to EUR 1,250,000 for entities and UBOs failing to comply with their obligations.


The registered entities will benefit from a six-month transition period following the entry into force of the law on 1 March 2019 to comply. Access and consultation of the register can therefore be requested from 1 September 2019.

KPMG can assist you through this process and especially with a review of your internal process and documentation, or technical support for the electronic filing of the applications via a secured platform.

Any tax advice in this communication is not intended or written by KPMG to be used, and cannot be used, by a client or any other person or entity for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties that may be imposed on any taxpayer or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any matters addressed herein.The information contained herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity.

Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.

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