BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP REGISTER IN PANAMA

The central non-public register of beneficial ownership of legal entities in now in force in Panama. (Law 129 of 2020).

Such law specifies that registered agent service providers are required to report to the authorities who are the direct and indirect controllers and ultimate beneficial owners of Panamanian legal entities.

The report must be filed with the authorities within 30 days of the appointment of the agent or 30 days of the registering of a legal entity with the companies registry in Panama. The authorities must also be informed within 30 days when there is any change of beneficial ownership information.

Final beneficiary as defined by law, is any individual, who directly or indirectly owns, controls, has significant influence on or ultimately controls the decisions of a company.

This law has been implemented with the aim to prevent money-laundering risks and shows the country’s intention to conform to Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations.

Failure to comply with the new legislation can lead to penalties ranging from USD 1,000 to USD 5,000, being imposed to the relevant registered agents with further increases, if payment is not made immediately. Additionally, legal entities whose agents have not been compliant with the new legislation could be suspended from the Register of companies.

Should you need any further information or assistance on how to comply with this obligation, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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