Government Moving Ahead With Corporate UBO Registry

By Sarah Gunther Mar 23, 2023

The Canadian government has recently announced its continued efforts to introduce new legislation that will establish a corporate registry. This registry will require corporations to disclose information about their beneficial owners, a move aimed at improving transparency and combating money laundering and tax evasion. Initially funded in 2021 with $2.1MM from the Liberal Government, the initiative is expected to be put in place some time in 2025.

The proposed registry will be an important tool for law enforcement and regulatory agencies in identifying and investigating illicit activities. It will require corporations to provide information about their owners, including their names, addresses, dates of birth, and other relevant details. This information will be kept confidential, and only made available to authorized individuals and organizations.

The corporate registry will be an important step towards greater transparency in Canada’s financial system. It will allow law enforcement agencies to better track and prevent money laundering and terrorist financing activities. By requiring corporations to disclose their beneficial owners, the registry will make it more difficult for criminals to use anonymous shell companies to conceal their activities.

The proposed legislation has received support from a wide range of organizations, including Transparency International Canada, the Canadian Bar Association, and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. These organizations recognize the importance of transparency in combating financial crime, and believe that the corporate registry will be an important tool in this effort.

However, there are concerns that the proposed legislation may place an undue burden on corporations. Some business groups have expressed concerns that the new regulations could increase compliance costs and create unnecessary red tape. They argue that existing regulations already require corporations to disclose information about their owners, and that the proposed registry may duplicate these efforts.

Despite these concerns, the Canadian government believes that the benefits of the new registry outweigh the potential costs. The government has committed to working with stakeholders to minimize the regulatory burden on corporations, while still achieving the goal of greater transparency in the financial system.