19 December 2019
The Companies Commission of Malaysia (“CCM”) conducted a public consultation from 8 November 2019 to 4 December 2019 on its proposed Guidelines for the Reporting Framework for Beneficial Ownership of Legal Persons (“Proposed Guidelines”).
The Proposed Guidelines are applicable to all local and foreign companies and limited liability partnerships. Companies and limited liability partnerships must meet the requirement to obtain and keep beneficial ownership (“BO”) information up-to-date, accurate and accessible in a timely manner by the competent authorities and law enforcement agencies. The Malaysian Companies Act 2016 (“CA 2016”) defines “beneficial owner” as “the ultimate owner of the shares and does not include a nominee of any description”. The Proposed Guidelines clarify that, for its purposes, the definition of “the ultimate owner of the shares” will cover both ownership and effective control.
The Proposed Guidelines are intended to assist companies, foreign companies, limited liability partnerships and foreign limited liability partnerships to understand and comply with the requirements to obtain, keep and hold up to date BO information for the purposes of reporting BO information pursuant to the CA 2016 and Limited Liability Partnerships Act 2012.
Companies and limited liability partnerships are required to obtain and keep the BO information accurate and up-to-date at the entities’ level within six months from the commencement date of the Guidelines and to notify the Registrar upon the expiry of the time frame or such further extended time frame as the Registrar may determine.