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Companies House receives international recognition for delivering new overseas property register

Companies House has been given a top award for its work in implementing the Register of Overseas Entities.

A new register aimed at preventing criminals from using UK property to launder money – the first of its kind anywhere in the world – has received a glowing endorsement from a global business registry network.

The Corporate Registers Forum (CRF) recognised Companies House with an Innovation Award (Excellence) for its implementation of the Register of Overseas Entities. Overseas entities that want to buy, sell or transfer property or land in the UK are required to register with Companies House and declare who their beneficial owners or managing officers are.

The register was delivered in just 109 working days and now has more than 27,000 registered overseas entities, with the register itself searched 405,178* times. Information on beneficial owners has been accessed 89,574* times.

The CRF is a leading international association of business registries from more than 50 nations across the world. Members meet regularly to share ideas, benchmark performance and access specialist knowledge and experience.

A panel of CRF judges said the introduction of the register was “a true display of agile innovation” and praised it as the “most outstanding” project among entries for the award. The award will be presented to Companies House officials at a ceremony at the CRF’s conference in October.

Chair of the CRF 2023 Innovation Award judging panel, Ms Chin Li Fen, recently said:

On behalf of the Corporate Registers Forum, my heartiest congratulations to Companies House for being awarded the CRF Innovation (Excellence) for the implementation of the Register of Overseas Entities (ROE). The Innovation (Excellence) Award is given to the most outstanding innovation project among the entries.

Implemented just about 4 months after the enabling legislations were introduced, the ROE was a true display of agile innovation from Companies House. Not only did ROE achieve the policy objectives of having a robust process to combat cross-border economic crimes, the fully digital solution was also designed from customer perspective to facilitate compliance with the laws and boost transparency.

Head of the Register of Overseas Entities at Companies House, Rachael Watts, recently said:

We are delighted that all the hard work put in to make the register’s launch possible has been given such wonderful recognition.

Getting the register operational in such a short space of time was not only challenging but it also required a huge amount of collaboration and engagement with stakeholders across government and beyond.

We’re continuing to learn and improve the register, so it will continue to prove an effective tool in the fight against economic crime.


  • The Register of Overseas Entities was announced as part of the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Bill in February 2022, as part of the UK’s immediate response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
  • The Register of Overseas Entities came into force on 1 August 2022 and requires overseas entities who want to buy, sell or transfer property or land in the UK, to register with Companies House and declare who their beneficial owners or managing officers are.
  • Entities who fail to register will face criminal and civil sanctions and will be unable to deal freely with their land due to the restrictions placed over it. Companies House is now assessing cases for enforcement action working in partnership with law enforcement bodies.
  • The CRF Innovation Awards celebrate the spirit of innovation and honours CRF jurisdictions which have successfully put in place world-class initiatives, as well as those which have creatively implemented customised solutions, to make a real difference to their stakeholders.
  • Companies House holds the Presidency of the CRF, and also provide the Secretariat. The President and Secretary did not participate in the judging of the entry from Companies House.

*Information accurate as of April 30. Google Analytics only provides data for users who have consented to cookies that measure website use. This means the number of searches will be higher than the ones given in this article.


Original article link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/companies-house-receives-international-recognition-for-delivering-new-overseas-property-register

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