WiEReG (Wirtschaftliche Eigentümer Registergesetz – Austrian UBO Act): Annual duty of care also for legal entities exempt from initial registration
In implementation of the 5th EU Money Laundering Directive, the WiEReG/Austrian UBO Act came into force in Austria last year. The main content of this new law is that in addition to the commercial register and similar registers an additional register is being kept in which the ultimate beneficial owners (UBOs) of all legal entities domiciled in Austria are to be registered. In addition to the initial registration, which is not necessary for most legal entities, the legislator also stipulates in accordance with § 3 (3) WiEReG that the accuracy of the entry must be checked at least once a year to ensure that the data filed in the register is always up-to-date. This verification must be adequately documented and archived for at least five years after the end of the economic ownership of the natural person concerned. The “1-Mann-GmbH” (“1-person-limited company”), in which the sole shareholder and the sole managing director are the same natural person, is exempt from the annual duty of care according to the legislator, since this persons knows at any time that they are the ultimate beneficial owner of the company. For further information regarding the annual duty of care in connection with the Austrian UBO act, please contact your tax advisor in our office.