New measures to prevent the misuse of NZ companies

New measures announced today will increase transparency and combat the misuse of New Zealand companies to disguise criminal activity.

The Government has agreed to new measures that will make it a requirement to provide accurate information about who ultimately owns or controls a company or limited partnership – its ‘beneficial owner’. This will enable people to see more clearly who is involved in companies they are doing business with.

A unique identifier will also be assigned to all beneficial owners, general partners of limited partnerships and directors of companies. It would mean the Companies Office will be able to confidently link individuals with all entities they are associated with, and this will be publicly available.

An additional benefit of these unique identifiers is that the residential addresses of company directors will no longer need to be made publicly available on the Companies Office website, if they opt to provide an alternative address instead.

A Bill introducing these reforms will be brought to Parliament in late 2022, following a public consultation on an exposure draft.

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