What is a Beneficial Owner?

Learn what a beneficial owner is and how it might apply to you

Lawrence Huynh avatar
Written by Lawrence Huynh
Updated over a week ago

Beneficial Ownership

The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) defines a beneficial owner as any individual or non-individual that ultimately owns or controls an entity, such as a company or trust.

  • 'Owns' refers to owning 25% or more of the entity. This can be directly (such as through shareholdings) or indirectly (such as through another company's ownership or through a middleman)

  • 'Controls' refers to having the power to make decisions about the entity's finances and operations. This may involve making decisions through trusts, agreements, meetings, arrangements, and policies

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) also defines a beneficial owner as:

  • the natural person(s), at the end of the chain, who ultimately owns or controls a legal arrangement, including those persons who exercise ultimate effective control over the arrangement, and/or the natural person on whose behalf a transaction is being conducted

How This Applies to You

If you are onboarding an account for a legal entity, such as a company, trust, or partnership, Caleb & Brown is required to collect and verify information on all beneficial owners.

If you are the sole manager and/or sole member of an LLC, for example, you are the only beneficial owner of the entity, and Caleb & Brown would only ever be required to collect and verify your information as the account holder.

In another situation, if you have other officers, directors, members, trustees, beneficiaries, or shareholders besides yourself in your entity, Caleb & Brown may be required to collect and verify their information as well, as they may classify as beneficial owners. These could be other trustees that make decisions in a family trust, other managers or members of a company, or other shareholders with at least 25% of capital contribution to a corporation.

If you have any questions, or you need assistance completing the registration form, you can ask our Product Specialist team through the Chat button in the bottom right corner of the webpage.

You can also call our support help desk on +61 1800 849 149 (Australia) or +1 (844) 494 6515 (International), from 9am to 5pm (AEST), or request we call you back by submitting an enquiry on our website.

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