Uzbekistan requires UBO disclosure for company registration

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Starting from March 4, 2021, the state registration of a new company in Uzbekistan requires disclosure of its ultimate beneficiary owner (UBO). Government resolution no. 763 dated December 2 2020 (Resolution 763), has revolutionized the registration procedure that has existed in the country since 2017.

Definition of UBO

Resolution 763 defines the UBO as an actual owner of the property of a newly created company or an individual who controls an applicant, or whose interests drive money- and other property-related transactions. The definition does not set any thresholds or percentage as to the ownership or control over the applicant by a founding individual or entity to identify a UBO. Resolution 763 does not clearly identify the applicant; hence, we presume it refers to a founding individual.

Scope of disclosure

Upon registration, an applicant will be required to disclose the UBO by filling in a questionnaire (to be submitted alongside a standard registration package) electronically. The questionnaire identifies particulars of the UBO of the new company, namely:

  • full name;
  • date of birth;
  • nationality;
  • residential address;
  • details of ID;
  • tax identification number (if relevant); and
  • contact details (e-mail, phone number).

Political exposure

In addition to the above disclosure, the applicant (presumably a founding individual) is expected to inform on his/her political exposure. For this, Resolution 763 envisages a term ‘senior public official’, which is defined as an appointed or elected officer, performing administrative functions and being authorized to perform legally significant actions at a foreign state agency (e.g. legislative, executive, administrative, or judicial) or international organization on a permanent, temporary, or ad hoc basis.

Specifically, the following queries need to be answered with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ statement:

  • Whether the applicant or UBO is considered to be a senior public official?
  • Whether there any senior public officials among immediate family members or friends of the applicant?
  • Whether the applicant conducts any banking operations for the benefit of any third party? If yes, details of a relevant power of attorney needs to be disclosed.

Practical implications

Given the complicated ownership structures in international businesses (especially those of multinational groups or publicly traded companies), the identification of an UBO may turn out to be a challenging task. As the implementation of the new rule remains uncertain in practical terms, we expect that the electronic system collecting information on UBO is likely to be modified to make it more user-friendly.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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