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Ultimate Beneficial Owner in Portugal - Confirmation until 31 December 2022
07 Dec 2022 . By Roberto Castro Mendonça - Lawyer

Ultimate Beneficial Owner in Portugal - Confirmation until 31 December 2022

All companies in Portugal are required to make the Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO) registration through an initial statement of the RCBE - Portuguese Central Registry of the Effective Beneficiary. The information contained in this declaration must be confirmed by 31 December of each year.


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AML Regulations in Portugal

Portugal has adopted all the European Union guidelines about adopting preventive and repressive measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

In this regard, we highlight the inclusion of the crime of money laundering in the Portuguese Criminal Code, the obligation for commercial companies to keep an updated internal record of the beneficial owner, and the creation of the Central Beneficiary Register.

Who can be considered an ultimate beneficial owner?

A beneficial owner is a natural person who ultimately owns or controls a corporate entity, such as a civil or commercial partnership, association, foundation, cooperative, trust, or the natural person on whose behalf a transaction or activity is conducted. Beneficial owners of an entity are those who:

  • Owns or controls more than 25% of the share capital or voting rights, directly or indirectly;
  • Exercises control over that entity by other means.

In special cases, after all possible means have been exhausted and on condition that there are no grounds for suspicion, when no person has been identified in the terms of the previous points, or there are doubts that the person or persons identified are the beneficial owners, the persons who have the top management (manager, administrator, director, etc.) are considered to be the beneficial owners.

RCBE - The Portuguese Central Registry for UBOs

The Central Beneficiary Register (RCBE) is a database containing sufficient, accurate and up-to-date information on all individuals who, even if indirectly or through a third party, have an ownership or effective control of the legal entities subject to it.


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Investing in Portugal - Check out our brochure

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The annual confirmation of the information contained in the RCBE

By legal imposition, the confirmation of the accuracy, sufficiency and timeliness of the information contained in the RCBE must be performed annually until the 31st of December of each year.

Thus, until 31 December 2022, a statement confirming the beneficial owner’s information must be filed with the RCBE, i.e., the natural persons who have ownership or effective control of legal entities incorporated in Portugal or foreign entities wishing to conduct certain businesses in Portugal.

We want to point out that the identification of the owners of shareholdings/partners and managers/ directors who are not beneficial owners is no longer included in the RCBE declaration, so it is not compulsory to update these elements.

Registration of the Ultimate Beneficial Owner - How can we help

NEWCO has an in-house team available to assist in complying with the obligations imposed by the RCBE. We have vast experience advising national and international companies regarding the implementation of this regime.

We have over 30 years of experience assisting investors and expatriates in Portugal and Malta. Our qualified team is ready to provide a wide range of services to meet all your needs.