Ultimate Beneficial Owner
The Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO) is the Belgian implementation of a new EU law that came into existence on 31 October 2018. Enterprises and organisations are obliged to declare relationships with other entities or natural persons (e.g. board members). The goal is to prevent, detect, and investigate money laundering.
Note: as a consequence the VZW wetgeving has also changed since 1 January 2019: according to the Belgian law a non-profit organisation is considered an enterprise (simplification/unification of commercial laws because of UBO).
Prevent, detect, and pursue (international) financial abuse (fraud, terrorism).
It is sufficient to complete and maintain the register at the MinFin web site before
31 March 2019 30 September 2019, and amend or confirm yearly (immediately after the general assembly, or changes in the board).
Question: Why isn't this (automatically) linked or included in the statutory publication and the KBO registration? Why is a third register necessary?
- Since 11 November 2020 for each of the members an official document is mandatory (upload of the PDF Belgisch staatsblad publication).
- Since 2021 there is an immediate link via the Belgisch staatsblad
- When replicating the KBO registration this manual document is not required
Non-compliance can cause a federal penalty of 500 €.
As a legal European obligation that is due
31 March 2019 30 September 2019, the board has been registered (by the Chairman of Wikimedia Belgium) as UBO because they are Board member of a VZW/ASBL. See https://eservices.minfin.fgov.be/ubo
Each individual registered Belgian board member can verify (or even change) the registration by logging in with their e-ID:
- To see/change the personal registration, login as a person
- To see/change the Wikimedia Belgium registration, login as an enterprise
The register needs to be amended at every change in Board membership, after registration at KBO and the Staatsblad, via the e-ID of one of the registered board members, and re-approved yearly even if there were no changes. This implies that board member changes needs to be registered 3 times (!) with the Belgian government (apart from our internal Wikimedia registrations).
In the UBO register application it is possible to perform the following easy transactions:
- Update the organisation contact details (email, telephone number)
- Replicate from KBO (to synchronise with KBO after staatsblad publication) - simplest way to change
- Yearly confirmation (if there are no changes)
- Manually modify the registration (national number, or BISNR required)
- Upload a PDF document (external proof when required)
As a consequence of the UBO, and the KBO registration, the WMBE GDPR privacy declaration has also been amended (national number for board members). The board members were informed about this registry by the Chairman of WMBE, as part of the GDPR, and (privately) by the administration of the Ministry of Finance.
After each general assembly, and publication in the Belgisch Staatsblad, you must amend the registration. After the updates are done, create a PDF to prove the new situation. If there are no changes, a simple confirmation is sufficient.
- VSDC VZW Review Jan-Feb 2021 nr. 194 p. 15 (opladen verplichte bijlage)
- VSDC VZW Review november-december 2021 nr. 198 p. 3