Foreigners Who Own UK Commercial Property Need To Register This Month
UNITED KINGDOM – Due to the implementation of the Register of Overseas Entities (ROE), foreign entities that own any type of real estate in the country, including commercial properties such as office space, are now mandated to register their beneficial owners, according to a press release published on EIN Newsdesk on Thursday morning (19 January, SGT).
In particular, overseas entities are required to register their beneficial owners with the UK government agency, the Companies House, by the end of January 2023. Failure to do so will lead to hefty fines and penalties.
“If these entities do not register with Companies House, they will not have an overseas entity ID and will not be able to register a change of interest at the relevant land registry. This will prohibit that entity from buying or selling property or land in the UK,” explained Prop Home Ltd, a Hong Kong-based registered agent involved in the registering of overseas entities with the ROE.
Prop Home’s Chief Executive Paul Harrison revealed that there are three important parties involved in the registration with Companies House, namely a registered agent, the ‘entity’ or its corporate structure, and lastly the beneficial owners (ultimate owners). Hence, he said the 1st step in the process is to engage a registered agent.
Moreover, Harrison is urging foreign companies that hold UK real estate to act with haste as the deadline to register is fast approaching and many overseas entities have yet to do so.
“We are fast approaching the deadline for overseas entities to register with Companies House and there are still 30,000 companies yet to take action,” said Harrison, who added that the penalties for failing to register are substantial.
The UK government introduced the ROE to tackle money laundering, as a huge amount of dirty money is entering the country, with a huge chunk being invested into real estate. This is an issue for both the residential market and the commercial property segment.