Australia – GVT Beneficial Ownership Register

Australia – GVT Beneficial Ownership Register

On 7 November 2022, AST GVT proposed a public beneficial ownership register.

  • AST GVT issued consultation paper multinational tax integrity: public beneficial ownership register; said it is seeking comments on the design features for the register.
  • Said proposed register is part of AST GVT's multinational tax integrity package.
  • Follows AST PRL March 2022 issued report regarding the AML/CFT regime.


  • A beneficial owner is a natural person who ultimately owns or controls an entity, legal vehicle, or asset; they are not always the legal owners of the entity, vehicle, or asset.
  • Making the beneficial ownership information available on a public register is intended to increase transparency as well as discourage the use of complex structures.
  • Namely, for the purposes of avoiding legal requirements and obscuring tax liabilities.

Key Points

  • Stakeholders are invited to submit views on proposed design of phase 1 of the reform.
  • Under phase 1, certain unlisted entities regulated by Corporations act (act) would need to maintain accurate, up-to-date, publicly accessible beneficial ownership registers.
  • Entities include proprietary companies, unlisted public companies, unlisted registered managed investment schemes, and unlisted corporate collective investment vehicles.
  • Also seeks views on proposed amendments to substantial shareholding notice and tracing notice regimes in act, which concern beneficial ownership disclosures re listed entities.

Consultation Paper

  • Consultation paper covers the existing framework and the case for reform; definition of beneficial ownership; entities subject to beneficial ownership disclosure requirements.
  • Also recording requirements; content and availability of beneficial ownership register.
  • As well as accuracy and currency of beneficial ownership registers; enforcement and penalties; regulatory costs and benefits; it also lists the questions for consultation.

Future Phases

  • In future phases AST GVT intends to consult on proposed approaches to the disclosure of beneficial ownership of property held through other legal vehicles such as trusts.
  • As well as on centralization of information on individually maintained beneficial ownership registers in a single public registry; said register will require consideration.
  • Specifically, AST GVT said that it will require consideration of technical feasibility.
  • Also consideration of the timing of work to modernize Australia’s business registers.


  • The comment period for this consultation closes on 16 December 2022.