Nominee shareholder, useless or efficient ?

A nominee shareholder agreement is an additional layer of privacy to protect the ultimate beneficial owner of a company.

Because of the anti-money laundering rules and regulations, many countries organized public registers of beneficial owners and controllers of private companies. In such context a nominee shareholder could be proven ineffective in protecting the ultimate beneficial owner from public exposure.

But some countries, as Hong Kong, implemented a Significant Controllers Register which is NOT of public access, the only public exposure for the shareholders of a Hong Kong Company will remain the Company Registry accessible against payment.

The Hong Kong Significant Controllers Register is available to law enforcement and tax authorities and kept / maintained by the company secretary or a designated representative.

The use of nominee shareholder services in Hong Kong is efficient , in other countries , say UK, this is totally useless and will create additional questioning by Financial Institutions.

A nominee shareholder could be an individual or a corporate entity and the nominee shareholder agreement is basically a declaration of trust with an indemnify for the nominee.

Nominee shareholder services in Hong Kong are not trendy, this because of the additional burden when preparing a compliance report to open or to maintain the corporate bank account.

Nevertheless a nominee shareholder agreement will in Hong Kong protect the ultimate beneficial owners from unwanted public exposure and less to say its a necessity for residents in countries with high crime rates.

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