On 27 January 2021, the Central Registry of North Macedonia officially launched the long awaited Registry of Ultimate Beneficial Owners (“UBO Registry”). Entities incorporated in North Macedonia now have an obligation to register their UBOs in the UBO Registry within the following three months, cost – free. After the expiration of this period provided to ensure general compliance, there will be an eight day deadline for registering the UBO. Entities which fail to register their UBOs within the prescribed period shall have to pay a fee ranging from approx. EUR 32 to approx. EUR 2,600, depending on the size of the entity and the period of delay.
The Law on Anti-Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (“Law”) prescribes fines up to EUR 10.000 if legal entities fail to register the information on their UBOs. UBOs are individual(s) – natural person(s) who ultimately own or control a legal entity. A UBO can be:
- a natural person who is the owner of the entity or controls the entity through direct ownership of over 25% of shares or stocks, voting rights or other rights within the entity or the ownership of 25% plus one share;
- a natural person who controls the entity through indirect ownership of over 25% percent of shares, stocks, voting rights or other rights within the entity or ownership of 25% plus one share, including shares of bearer or voting right or other rights in the legal entity; or
- a natural person who exercises control over the entity in other ways.
Personal information including the name, surname, personal identification number and information regarding the ownership of the UBO, among others, are recorded in the UBO Registry. Entities must provide relevant documentation to prove reported information on the UBO in order for the same to be recorded in the UBO Registry. Note that applications for registration of the UBO could be filed by (i) the authorized representative of the entity, (ii) authorized registration agents, i.e. attorneys at law acting as registration agents, or (iii) other persons authorized by the entity through the administrator system.