France

What is the legal basis of the Transparency Register in the respective Member State?

Ordinance no. 2016-1635 dated 1 December 2016, which was itself authorized by a parent Act no. 2016-731 dated 3 June 2016. Additional measures have been given by a decree 2017-1094 dated 12 June 2017. 


A decree no. 2018-284 dated April 18th 2018 clarified the identification of the UBO of a legal person.

Is there an obligation of a UBO or shareholder to proactively provide information on the UBO to the legal entity?

No.

Is there an obligation of a legal entity to actively inquire with its shareholders/partners on the identity of the UBO(s)?

Yes. 
Legal entities should endeavour to find accurate information, in accordance with a “best efforts” standard. 

In case of unidentified UBO(s), it has to be noted that:

  • The individual who is the legal representative of the legal entity has to be designated as UBO. If said legal representative is a legal entity, its own legal representative, individual, is deemed to be UBO, etc. until an individual can be identified.
  • If a legal entity has several legal representatives (individuals) all of them have to be filed as UBO.
  • As regards foreign companies, the UBO is deemed to be the individual who is the equivalent of the legal representative under foreign law.

Who is required to make filings with the Transparency Register, the legal entity or the UBO?

The legal entity.

Are there exemptions to the filing obligation?

Yes. For listed companies and stateowned industrial and commercial establishments (EPIC).

What is the due date for the initial filing with the Transparency Register?

Companies incorporated as from 1 August 2017 must comply upon incorporation; companies incorporated before that date must comply from 1 April 2018 on. 


Any change regarding the UBO has to be filed within 30 days of the occurrence of such change.

What are the sanctions in case of a breach of the transparency obligation?

Six-month imprisonment and a fine amounting to EUR 7,500 as well as specific ancillary sanctions such as prohibition to manage a company (art. L. 561-49).

Is the Transparency Register established as a separate register or part of an existing register?

Central register for beneficial ownership information is attached to the already existing trade and companies register (R.C.S.). 


Deposit formalities can be carried out electronically as long as the filing form bears an electronic signature