Transparency Financial Information Act on Money Laundering

Dear Sir or Madam,

The new Transparency Financial Information Act on Money Laundering (TraFinG Gw) came into force on 1 August 2021. This will transform the German Transparency Register from the previous catch-all register to a full register, so that in future the beneficial owners of all legal entities must be notified to the transparency register even if these would already be apparent from another register (notification fiction) e.g. commercial or partnership register.

Beneficial owner is any natural person who holds more than 25% of the capital shares, controls more than 25% of the voting rights, or exercises control in a comparable manner. If there is no beneficial owner, the fictitious beneficial owner must be reported to the Transparency Register (authorised representative of the legal entity).

The following data for the respective (fictitious) beneficial owner must be transmitted to the register and must be updated immediately in case of changes:

  • First and last name
  • Date of birth
  • Place of residence
  • Nature and extent of economic interest and
  • all nationalities.

Companies already established before 1 August 2021

For companies that become subject to reporting for the first time due to the discontinuation of the notification fiction, the law provides for the following deadlines for the required reports to the transparency register:

  • AG, SE or KGaA by 31 March 2022.
  • GmbH, cooperative, European cooperative or partnership by 30 June 2022
  • and in all other cases (in particular registered partnerships) by 31 December 2022.

The rules on fines for these companies, which are required to report for the first time, have been suspended until 2023. After that, violations may result in fines of up to EUR 100,000 or EUR 150,000 (in the case of intent).

New formations as of 1 August 2021

The aforementioned transitional periods as well as the suspension of the fine provisions do not apply to new foundations as of 1 August 2021. In these cases, an immediate entry of the (fictitious) beneficial owners in the transparency register is required. We recommend taking timely measures to implement the new legal provisions. We will be happy to assist you in identifying the beneficial owner and make the entries in the Transparency Register.

Miriam Rosenthal,
Lawyer, Tax Advisor, LM Law Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH, München

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