The ultimate owner of an Estonian company is an individual who owns directly or indirectly more than 25% of the Estonian company’s share and is under its control. Also, the actual beneficiary is an individual who, regardless of the size of the share of ownership, takes important decisions regarding the company (for example, on the basis of a shareholder agreement). By September 1, 2018 the management of each legal entity is obliged to provide the information of its beneficiary to the Commercial Register – name, personal code, in the absence of a personal code – the date and place of birth, the country of residence, and information about how the person controls the company. If it is impossible to establish the actual beneficiary then the company should indicate a member of the management body instead. The fine for failure to provide the actual beneficiary’s information or providing false information is up to 1,200 euros for an individual or up to 400,000 euros for a legal entity.
While establishing a new company, the information about the actual beneficiary must be submitted to the Commercial Register together with the application for entering the company. The amendments that come into force is a consequence of the new European Union Directive on combating money-laundering. The goal of the directive is to create a platform that will unite state registers and allow controlling actual beneficiaries throughout Europe.