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Trade Register information to move more easily between EU Member States in future

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Publication date 27.9.2021 11.29
News item
Kuvituskuva, jossa kannettava tietokone, numeroita ja kädet

The Government proposes amendments to the Trade Register Act and Business Information Act that aim to facilitate the movement of information between authorities in different EU Member States. The proposed amendments are related to the implementation of the Digitalisation Directive concerning Business Registers and of the Anti-Money Laundering Directive.

On 27 September 2021, the Government submitted a proposal to Parliament on amendments to the Trade Register Act and the Business Information Act. The proposed amendments will have concrete impacts on the activities of the Finnish Patent and Registration Office or, in particular, on the Trade Register maintained by the Patent and Registration Office. The legislative amendments will enter into force on 1 August 2022. They do not have any major impacts on businesses.

The Digitalisation Directive requires that it must be possible to establish and register a limited liability company in any EU Member State electronically. Similarly, the registration of a branch of a limited liability company electronically must be possible in any EU country. A notification of the establishment of a limited liability company that is submitted electronically should be processed within five working days.

The proposal facilitates the movement of information in the registers between the registration authorities of different EU Member States. For example, information on any changes to the persons in charge of a limited liability company will also move to the country where a registered branch of the limited liability company operates. The promotion of electronic services in general facilitates the submission of notifications, speeds up their processing, reduces costs and improves enterprise security. 

The Anti-Money Laundering Directive of the EU aims to prevent the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing. In Finland the Patent and Registration Office is responsible for registering and updating information concerning the beneficial owners of companies to the Finnish Trade Register. The Anti-Money Laundering Directive requires that information on beneficial owners must be more readily accessible between different Member States. 

The implementation of the Digitalisation Directive will also have impacts on the budget for 2022. As the Directive requires that the majority of the information of limited liability companies entered in the Trade Register must free of charge to users, half a million euros in compensation will be paid to the Finnish Patent and Registration Office in 2022. 

Jyri Oksanen, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, +358 295 047 123