The Czech Republic: evidence of the actual owners

Background
In the Czech Republic, the Fourth Directive (EU) on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering and terrorist financing (2015/849) has been implemented by Act No. 368/2016 of the ECR. The term “beneficial owner”, as standardised in the EU Regulation, is defined here as “actual owner” and an information system of public administration (EVIDENZ) has been introduced.

Actual owner
The actual owner is an individual who has the factual or legal possibility of exercising a decisive influence, directly or indirectly, in the legal person. In the case of a commercial corporation, the actual owner is the following individual:

  • an individual who, alone or together with other persons acting in accordance with it, holds more than 25% of the voting rights of this commercial corporation or has a share in the share capital of more than 25%;
  • an individual who, alone or together with the people acting in concert with him, controls the commercial corporation referred to in paragraph 1;
  • an individual who is to be the recipient of at least 25% of the commercial corporation’s profits, or
  • an individual who is a member of the statutory body, representative of the legal person in this body or in a similar position if there is no actual owner or if it cannot be determined in accordance with paragraphs 1 to 3.

Evidenz
EVIDENZ is an information system of the public administration and is managed by the register court in electronic form. EVIDENZ is NOT a public register.

The following information about the actual owner is entered in EVIDENZ:

  • Name of the person concerned and address of their place of residence, if applicable also the place of residence, if it differs from the place of residence;
  • Date of birth and birth reference number, if assigned;
  • nationality; and
  • information on (i) the share of voting rights if the position of the actual owner relates to the direct participation in the legal person; (ii) the share of distributed funds if the actual owner is the recipient in terms of his position; or (iii) other facts substantiating the position of the actual owner.

Information on the actual owner will be entered in EVIDENZ within five working days from the day on which the application for registration was delivered to the registry court.

The documents proving the facts to be entered must be submitted to the registry court within the framework of the application. 

The commercial corporations are obliged to register the actual owner of the respective commercial corporation in EVIDENZ by the end of this year at the latest.

Author: Pavel Trnka