Did you or your clients on or after 1 March 2022 own a property in the UK by a non-UK entity?
If so, you might have a liability to register on a new UK ownership register by 31 January 2023.
Non-UK entities (OEs) now need an Identification number (OE ID) to give to HM Land Registry when buying, selling or granting a lease for more than 7 years over, land in the UK. The OE ID can only be obtained once a ‘relevant person’ for the purposes of the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022 has verified the hain of ownership. We are authorised for this purpose as a relevant person.
The rules are complex and demanding, but imagine preparing for a civil trial in England, and collating the evidence to the required standard. Originals or sworn copies only, secondary sources inadmissible, government documents only, etc.
Both the OE and we are liable to criminal penalties if we get this wrong. And of course no one is going to buy a property from a non-verified OE as the purchase will not be registered at HM Land Registry, which means the purchaser has nothing but a claim against the selling OE.
Why do you need an OE ID?
An overseas entity (OE) is any government or public authority, corporate body, partnership/partner, trustee, which owns land in the UK. It now needs an OE ID by 31 January 2023. We can only verify land in England and Wales. The main exceptions are OEs named on the land register (very rare in the private sector) or OEs which are registered in England and Wales under Part 34 Companies Act 2006 (Oversea Companies).
To obtain one, a relevant person, which we are, needs to verify all UBOs (anyone with 25% or more interest in the OE or exercises significant control over it) and when satisfied that the evidence produced is sufficient, file a form VF01, OE1 or OE2 and pay a £100 fee on your behalf.
You will then be given the OE ID which you can use to show HM Land Registry
We need to hold on to the original or copy documents for 5 years
No document can be more than 3 months old by the time we send in the VF01
Any change in the ownership structure must be notified within 14 days.
The initial verification and all subsequent verifications last for only 3 months. Accordingly, an active OE which is always buying and selling land in the UK might find it has to refresh its OE ID
every 3 months. If you have a UBO who travels a lot, it might be advisable for him/her to obtain a second passport.
In any event, the OE ID must be refreshed annually.
What we will do for you
- We will review your structure for which a complete organogram would be extremely helpful
- We will then issue a quote and contract with the OE
- We will then tell you what documents we need and whether they need to be certified and if so by whom and how
If the OE does not know who its UBOs are, then we can assist with the process you need to go through before you can apply for your OE ID.
We need to verify the ownership from UBO down to the OE. The rules are complex and demanding, but imagine preparing for a civil trial in England, and collating the evidence to the
required standard. Originals or sworn copies only; secondary sources inadmissible, government documents only, etc.
You produce the paperwork. We verify it.
If there is a break in the chain of ownership we will work with you on what is needed to complete the chain and let you know whether there will be an additional fee. It may be as simple as getting a short legal opinion, or a short document prepared by a law firm.
We will also carry out other verification processes and if we find anything inconsistent we will ask you to explain the inconsistency. We are also required to carry out sanctions checks etc.
We are required to apply a high level or professional scepticism. Please do not take offence if our questions appear to be too probing; it is our job.
The document you supply cannot be more than 3 months old by the time we file the verification form (VF01) and also file for OE1, or where there are no UBOs or they cannot be identified, an OE2. OE Forms are online documents.
Fees start at £750 plus VAT of £150 which we must charge. There is also a Companies House fee to be paid of £100.
View the terms and conditions.
Work with us
For details of what is required please email email@example.com or fill out the form below.
Going forward it may be possible to arrange your affairs such that this requirement need not be met. Advice on this can be given separately.