900 businesses in danger of liquidation in Latvia

About 900 business are at risk of liquidation for not revealing their true beneficiaries, warned Guna Paidere, the chief notary of The Register of Enterprises of the Republic of Latvia, as reported by LSM's Latvian service June 17.

Last week, the Saeima expanded the powers of the Register of Enterprises, which will allow it to wind up businesses that are hiding their owners. In the near future, The Register of Enterprises will start sending out warnings to companies. If the companies do not respond in the course of a month, they will be removed from the register.

“Among these 900 companies are working companies. There are also companies with well known names. I won't of course expose anyone in public, but we would really want these companies to reveal their true owners and continue working in Latvia […] Perhaps there's some misunderstanding about why such things don't need to be revealed elsewhere, but why it is necessary to do so in Latvia. Well, it will soon have to be done all across Europe, but, still. there are questions and they are being gradually answered, case by case,” said Paidere.

The main aim of identifying true owners is the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing. From next year onwards, businessmen wishing to ascertain the owners of their corporate partners will be able to obtain the information free of charge from the Register of Enterprises.

Paidere previously told the Latvian Radio on the morning of June 17, that the state possesses information on 96% of businesses, while the remaining – small number – are high-risk companies about which there is little clarity.

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