The Beneficial Owner Register Act (WiEReG) came into force on 15 January 2018. The “WiEReG” imposes reporting obligations on companies. Notifications must be made to Statistics Austria for the first time by 1 June 2018. The content of this law implements the 4th EU Money Laundering Directive in Austria.
Legal Entity and Economic Owner
The legal entities named in the Act with their registered office in Austria must notify their beneficial owners to a register maintained by the Federal Statistical Institute of Austria.
The legal entities named in the law are essentially the general partnerships (OG), limited partnerships (KG), limited liability companies (GmbH), stock corporations (AG), cooperatives, associations, foundations and funds as well as other legal entities to be entered in the commercial register: Beneficial owners within the meaning of this law are all natural persons who can exercise direct or indirect control over a company. Direct beneficial owners are all natural persons holding more than 25 percent of the company or a shareholding of 25 percent plus one share. indirect beneficial owners are all natural persons exercising control (directly or indirectly) over a company that in turn holds more than 25 percent of the company or a shareholding of 25 percent plus one share in a (reportable) company.
The same applies if a natural person exercises control over several companies that together hold more than 25 percent of a (reportable) company. Direct holdings in the (reportable) company held by the controlling person are to be added. Control within the meaning of the “WEReG” exists if a person either holds more than 50 percent or exercises control in some other way (e.g. syndicate agreement).
You can find the complete article by Dr. Edwin Grubert in the issue of econova magazine: