Do you have a BVI company? Pay attention to the new BOSS Act!


Beneficial Ownership Secure Search System Act 2017

The Beneficial Ownership Secure Search System Act came into force in June 2017. This Act is to establish a secure search system to facilitate the effective and efficient storage as well as retrieval of beneficial owner information for all corporate and legal entities using the system and to provide for matters incidental thereto.

“Beneficial Owner” is defined as the natural person who ultimately owns or controls a corporate or legal entity and includes, though not restricted to, the following:-

  • In the case of a legal person other than a listed company, a natural person who ultimately owns or controls whether, directly and indirectly, 25% or more of the shares or voting rights, or who
    otherwise exercises control over the management of the legal person;
  • In the case of a legal arrangement, (i) the partner(s) who control the partnership; (ii) the trustee or other person who controls the legal arrangement, or (iii) the settler or other person by whom the legal arrangement is made.

Only the designated person shall execute a search by the order of request from, for instance, the Financial Investigation Agency, the Financial Services Commission, the International Tax Authority and the Attorney General’s Chambers. Failure to comply with the Act shall constitute an offence and the entity will be liable to penalties.

In view of the above, the registered agent should take reasonable steps to: (i) identify the beneficial owners and registrable legal entities of each corporate and legal entity for which it acts as a registered agent; and (ii) collect the prescribed information of each corporate and legal entity for which it acts as a registered agent.

How can we help?

CW CPA can assist overseas companies in analysing the implications that changes in company legislation, local as well as international, can have on their operations and in ensuring compliance with the relevant laws and regulations. Further questions can be addressed to Ms May Ly (may.ly@cwhkcpa.com), Senior Manager, Head of Company Secretarial Department.

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