Enforcement of company beneficial ownership filings and securities registers by CIPC

The General Laws (Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Terrorism Financing) Amendment Act 22 of 2022 (the “Act”) has made several changes to the beneficial ownership framework of companies and trusts. The intention of these changes is to aid in preventing fraud and corruption in South Africa.

In May 2023, the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) implemented a beneficial ownership register and it became mandatory for all entities to disclose the ownership and securities register of the entity. Entities incorporated after May 2023 have to file their beneficial ownership information within 10 business days after the date of incorporation. The same timeline applies regarding the updating of beneficial ownership information where there have been changes in the entity.

Entities incorporated before May 2023 are also required to file their beneficial ownership information and securities register and are now prevented from filing their CIPC annual returns if the beneficial ownership register has not been filed with CIPC. CIPC have stated that all entities need to have filed their beneficial ownership information by 24 May 2024.

Non compliance with the filing of the beneficial ownership and securities register may result in administrative fines and the inability to file the CIPC annual returns (which may eventually lead to the deregistration of the entity by CIPC). Clients should seek to understand more about these changes to ensure that they never fall foul of their legal obligations.

Should you require more information please contact Sarah Marx on smarx@bissets.com or via the relevant contact details below.

Written by – Sarah Marx (Associate)

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E & OE).

 

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