Beneficial Owners - Companies

Company ownership and UBO's

AML simplified due diligence


There are many types of companies under various corporation law, further compounded by the country of registration. Each company type will have special rules for determining the ultimate beneficial owners, or UBO’s, also referred to as persons with significant control. Under AML law, a UBO is any natural person who owns or controls more than 25% of the company.

When determining the UBO’s for most companies, it is important to understand the shareholdings. Not just of your client company, but the complete corporate structure. Your client may be owned either solely, or jointly, by another company or companies. And in turn, these companies may be registered in the same country as the end client, or literally anywhere in the world.

This corporate structure, and the various percentage shareholdings is critical to determine the ultimate beneficial owner. In fact, this is where the term “ultimate” came from, ultimate being the final end point of ownership.

Ownership and control is determined by following the ownership through the various layers of corporate structure, shareholdings, and distribution, and then calculating the percentage of ownership in your client company.

At MVSI, we have access to the companies register in virtually every country in the world. In most cases it is in real time, and in others we have to make special written requests, depending on the technological advancement of the country in question. And determining beneficial owners is just one of our AML services.

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