Sunday 27 November 2022

EU court orders company ownership register to be closed to the public

The Dutch finance ministry has told the Chamber of Commerce to close off a register which allows people to find out who owns companies to outsiders, following a European court ruling.

The Ubo register holds information about who the ‘ultimate beneficial owner’ of a company or trust is, but family firms and shareholders have campaigned against having an open system because of the privacy implications.

On Tuesday, the European Court of Justice said the registers should be closed to the general public but remain open to the tax office and financial fraud investigators.

Finance minister Sigrid Kaag has now contacted the KvK, ordering it to close the registers to the public on a temporary basis, while the implications of the court ruling are examined.

Lobby group Familiebedrijven Nederland (FBNed) has welcomed the move, telling the Financieele Dagblad that a public register is not necessary to combat fraud and money laundering.

As yet it is unclear if banks will retain their access to the register

Thank you for donating to

The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments. has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.