Public beneficial ownership register: additional funding (Budget)

May 19, 2023

The Government will provide $1.9 million over 2 years from 2023-24 to “establish a public registry of beneficial ownership of companies and other legal vehicles, including trusts”.

The Government proposes to implement a public registry of beneficial ownership, which will show who ultimately owns, controls, or receives profits from a company or legal vehicle operating in Australia. This was part of its election platform. To this end, Treasury issued a consultation paper in November 2022.

That paper states that the beneficial ownership register regime “would deliver the greatest benefit” by encompassing a broad range of entities and legal vehicles, including companies (public, both listed and unlisted, and proprietary), trusts and managed investment schemes (MISs).

There is no indication in the Budget papers as to when the Register may be operative.