Local business owners who handle their own company's paperwork will need to file their beneficial ownership information with General Registry by Saturday, 30 June.

Once filed, the information will be stored on the Cayman Islands Government's centralised beneficial ownership platform. By storing it centrally, Government will be able to more quickly provide it, through appropriate legal mechanisms, to international law enforcement, tax and regulatory authorities.

The filing requirement applies to businesses that do not use a licensed service provider, such as a law firm or a corporate administration company, as their registered offices. The information can only be filed through Registry's secure online system, the Cayman Business Portal (CBP).

'For businesses that use service providers, your service providers should already be aware of their responsibility to file beneficial ownership information on your behalf, by 30 June', Registrar General Cindy Jefferson-Bulgin said.

A beneficial owner:

  • holds, directly or indirectly, more than 25 percent of the shares or voting rights in a company; or
  • has the right to appoint or remove a majority of the board of directors of the company.

However, if no individual in the company meets these conditions, the beneficial owner is the person who (directly or indirectly) has significant influence or control over the company, through either direct or indirect ownership. This does not apply if such control is solely in the capacity of a manager, director, or adviser.

Beneficial owners of companies are required to submit their:

  • full legal name;
  • residential address, and if different, an address for service of notice;
  • date of birth;
  • identifying information from their valid passport, driver's licence, or other government-issued document including the ID number, country of issue, date of issue and expiration; and
  • the date the person became, or ceased to be, a beneficial owner of the company.

There are penalties for business owners if they do not register and continue to operate after the 30 June registration deadline.

Among other penalties, their companies can be struck off the Companies Register; and the assets of the company can be vested with Government, in accordance with The Companies Law.

'The Registrar of Companies has taken a number of steps, including directly emailing business owners and airing radio public service announcements, to encourage persons to submit their beneficial ownership information', said Mrs Jefferson-Bulgin.

'And just to remind business owners, they must register with the CBP first, before they submit this information. So I encourage them to register with CBP as soon as possible, in order to meet the 30 June deadline for submitting their beneficial ownership information', she said.

To help persons with their CBP registrations, General Registry will be open between the hours of 5pm to 7:30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, starting Tuesday, 19 June and ending Thursday, 28 June. General Registry's offices are located on the ground floor of the Government Administration Building. For more information, call 946-7922; or email help@cbp.ky or cigenreg@gov.ky

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.