Companies House will soon be writing to all overseas entities which need to report property ownership under the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act.

The rules cover owners of land in England, Wales and Scotland. The new register will require overseas entities that own UK land to declare their beneficial owners or managing officers. Overseas entities will not be able to buy, sell, transfer or lease land, or create a charge against the land in the UK unless they’ve registered with Companies House.

The launch date for the new register will be confirmed once the secondary legislation is laid. The secondary legislation will fill in the details of the new regime and will provide the practical measures required for the legislation to come into effect, including a commencement date for the new register.

Overseas entities who already own land in the UK will be given six months to register their beneficial owners or managing officers. This six-month period will not begin until the new register has been launched. Any new purchasers will need to register with Companies House from the day the register comes into effect.

Once the overseas entity has registered and provided all the necessary information, an overseas entity ID will be provided by Companies House. This ID will then need to be shared with the relevant land registry (depending on where the land is situated in the UK) whenever the overseas entity buys, sells, transfers, leases or charges land in the UK. The overseas entity will need to update its information every year.