The BO6 Framework

The six stages ensure that governments build a beneficial ownership reporting system that meets international best practice.  From the moment a president, prime minister or minister makes a commitment to implementing beneficial ownership reporting obligations, through to a functioning system that allows users to reap real benefits from clear data on the ultimate owners of companies, the framework supports the decision making and policy implementation process.  It asks the right questions at the right point in the process to allow officials to make the appropriate policy choices and decisions in an efficient manner and at the optimal time in the process.  It creates opportunities for engagement with the private sector, professional advisors, civil society and other stakeholders to ensure a fit-for-purpose reporting system.

As with any structure that needs to stand for many years, a beneficial ownership reporting system needs a well-developed blueprint, solid foundations, well-designed infrastructure and reliable support mechanisms.  A beneficial ownership system implemented on this basis is more likely to bring benefits to the economy: reduce the risks of doing business, creating higher levels of integrity and trust and allow government and the citizens to know who is really investing in their economy.

The six stages are:

(1) Understand

the landscape where the beneficial ownership system is being constructed.

Each country starts from a different place and has different priorities for implementing beneficial ownership transparency. This stage ensures there is a shared understanding amongst all stakeholders of beneficial ownership’s importance and the benefits it will bring.

(2) Decide

on the scope of the beneficial ownership reporting system.

This stage includes some critical decisions on the definition of beneficial owner, companies in scope, thresholds and other core parts of implementation.

(3) Design

the mechanisms for collection, storage, verification, disclosure and enforcement.

Based on the analysis and decisions undertaken in stages 1 and 2, this stage ensures the beneficial ownership reporting system is designed to be fit for purpose and in a strong position to deliver benefits for stakeholders.

(4) Legislate

to create a robust statutory basis for the reporting system and its enforcement.

The form of legislation will depend on the particular circumstances in each country but should include all the necessary elements to ensure the policy decisions are implemented in full.

(5) Implement

the legislation and all the mechanisms.

This stage includes ensuring that the necessary resources are deployed both to implement the legislation in an efficient manner and that there are high levels of understanding and compliance.

(6) Benefit

from the availability of clear data on the ultimate owners of companies.

To maximise the benefits, the beneficial ownership register needs to contain reliable information and be easy to access.

Across all six stages, there is a process to communicate with all stakeholders on the implications of the decisions that have to be made, the uses for reliable beneficial ownership information and strategies to maximise the benefits from the availability of this information.  Communication activities can include capacity building, awareness-raising, training, workshops, written briefings, infographics, videos and publicity campaigns.