A new Jersey law, which came into effect on 6th January 2021, will increase the amount of information that will be made public for all Jersey companies and many other entities, according to Nancy Chien, Partner at Bedell Cristin.
The law will affect Jersey companies, foundations, incorporated limited partnerships, limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships and separate limited partnerships.
The most important change for most entities is the introduction of the concept of ‘Significant Persons’. In addition to the need to identify and report on these persons to the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC), information in relation to Significant Persons will also be made available to the public for the first time.
In respect of Jersey companies, these will be the directors. The definition differs for other entities. For example, incorporated or separate limited partnerships will need to identify the general partner, while foundations will be required to name the council members.
From the data provided, the following information relating to individuals who are Significant Persons is then included on a JFSC register which will be made public:
- month and year of the person’s date of birth
- address for correspondence
‘Significant Persons’ who are corporates will be subject to different disclosure requirements.
The Financial Services (Disclosure and Provision of Information) (Jersey) Law 2020 is came into force from 6th January 2021.
Existing Jersey entities will also need to disclose to the JFSC details of its beneficial ownership. Nancy Chien explained: “This aspect of the Law is not new to companies, as they are already required to provide beneficial ownership information to the JFSC. However, the new Law provides a revised statutory framework as to how such information is to be provided and the requirements will apply equally to new entities which are incorporated after 6th January 2021. Beneficial ownership information will not be publicly available.”
She added that the requirement to disclose beneficial ownership to the JFSC in respect of foundations was a new measure.
Also under the new law, each entity has to nominate a person who will provide the information and act as interface with the JFSC and this may vary from entity to entity but can include a trust company, a ‘Significant Person’ from the entity who is resident in Jersey or a lawyer or accountant.
Each entity will be required to provide an annual confirmation statement verifying that the beneficial ownership and significant persons remain the same, updating where necessary. This will replace the annual return for companies and will be subject to a fee.
There are deadlines to meet these requirements in April this year. Foundations have until 6th April to appoint their nominated person and will have until 30th April to file their annual confirmation statement. All other entities have until 30 April to appoint their nominated person and file the annual confirmation statement. From 2022 that deadline will revert to between January 1st and end of February.
Nancy Chien added: “In light of the imminent deadlines we suggest that businesses start reviewing their structures now and consider the impact of these changes. This is particularly the case in respect of the Significant Persons information which will be in the public domain for the first time.”