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LEGAL NEWS - The public Register of Shareholders

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9. December 2014

From 15. December 2014 Danish public limited companies, private limited companies, limited partnership companies and entrepreneurial companies are obligated to register information on shareholders holding five percent or more on the Company’s share capital or voting right in the Public Register of Shareholders. Shareholders with less than five percent of the Company’s share capital or voting rights and shareholders with bearer shares are to be registered in the non-public part om the register. Thereby all shareholders are to be registered to the authorities.

The purpose of the Public Register of Shareholders is to increase transparency regarding the ownership of Danish companies and thereby strengthen confidence in companies’ credibility and improve the public authorities’ monitoring in connection to financial crime and money laundering.

The Public Register of Shareholders does not replace the companies’ (non-public) register of shareholders, why companies are still obligated to register all shareholders in the register of shareholders as well as in the Public Register of Shareholders.

The Public Register of Shareholders will also include registration of pledgees, who due to the pledge they hold on shares can control the voting right of the share and intend to exercise this voting right. Further, all persons, who are not shareholders or pledgees, but by agreement have direct influence and control in the company equivalent of a shareholder with five percent or more of the voting rights, shall be registered in the Public Register of Shareholders, even though they do not actually hold shares in the company.

Therefore, the Public Register of Shareholders will include the following information:

  • Name, address and civil registration number (CPR-number) of shareholders (person)
  • Name, address and registration number of shareholder (company/enterprise)
  • Date of acquisition of shares
  • The shareholders total holding in the company, divided into shares and voting rights. The total holding should be updated and new acquisitions must therefore be registered.



These requirements of clear identification apply to both Danish and foreign shareholders.

Provided that the parliament adopts the necessary adjustments to the Danish Business Act before 15. December 2014, the Public Register of Shareholders will open for registration on 15. December 2014, but the information will be accessible to the public first from 15. June 2015. Therefore, all companies existing on 15. December 2014 must register the above-mentioned information before the register opens to the public on 15 June 2014 (the last date of registration is 14. June 2015). However, companies established after 15. December 2014 must register within two weeks of establishment.

The Danish Business Authority will administrate the Public Register of Major Shareholders and provide a free online registration system through www.virk.dk. How the registration will be administered in practice is not yet determined, but so far it is provided that the owner of the shares is obliged to register the necessary information. The owner may give a power of attorney to third parties to register the information.

If you have questions to the above, you are very welcome to contact Lawyer Alexandra Huber at LEAD - Legal Advice Denmark, phone 44 45 50 00.

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