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The Registrar of Companies has given all officers and authorized persons of a company upto 31st January 2021 to prepare and submit a register of its beneficial owners or face consequences for non-compliance. Directors of a Company risk being fined upto Kshs. 500,000/= each if they fail to update the company’s beneficial ownership register within the stipulated time. So, who is a beneficial owner? A beneficial owner of a company is a natural person who, directly or indirectly:

(1) holds at least 10% of the issued shares in a company;
(2) exercises at least 10% of the voting rights in the company;
(3) holds a right to appoint or remove a director; or
(4) participates in the financial policies of the company even if they do not have full control over them.

Any natural person who meets any of the three thresholds above must be included in the beneficial ownership register of the company by 31st January 2021. 

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