The declaration of the beneficial owner (commonly known as the RCBE) has to be done up to 30 days after the company's creation, ascertaining who has a direct interest in the company or entity and to identify the individuals who have ownership or effective control of legal entities, such as Portuguese companies, foreign companies registered in Portugal and also associations, foundations and other entities not subject to commercial registration. Note that even with the shareholders identified, if there are persons who own shares, even if indirectly, they must also be identified in the declaration, as well as those who have effective control of the company.

In the previous article, we talked about the creation of a company. However, after this step, there are still several obligations to be satisfied, as promoting the Central Register of the beneficial owner (RCBE), i.e., ascertaining who has a direct interest in the company or entity.

All the information requested on the form must be indicated: valid ID, type of company and full information of the partners, with a breakdown of their shareholdings, quotas or shares held in the company.

For entities existing before 1 October 2018, the first beneficial owner declaration had the following deadlines: for commercial companies, permanent representations and cooperatives - by 31 October 2019; and for other entities, such as associations, foundations and funds - until 30 November 2019.

The limit for filing the initial RCBE declaration is also 30 days after the incorporation of an entity or company subject or not to commercial register.

Update RCBE initial information is also important. After the first declaration, all entities are obliged to update the information contained therein, whenever there are changes to any of the declared data, as soon as possible, without ever exceeding 30 days, counted from the date of the fact that originated them, under penalty with a fine of between €1,000.00 and €50,000.00.

Even though the beneficiaries are identified, you also have to identify those who have effective control of the company even indirectly.

If you do not have the effective declaration, you will not be able to perform certain acts through the company, such as, for example, opening a bank account or acquiring or selling real estate.

In what concerns RCBE Annual confirmation, when there are no changes to the data previously declared, an annual confirmation of the information must be carried out until the 31st of December of each year.

Should you experience any problems or difficulties in this matter, we would recommend you to seek the services and advice of a solicitor who will guide you through all the process.

by Tânia Fernandes, Solicitor