Transparency register – Am I obliged to register and who is in charge?

Mann tippt auf Häkchen im Zentrum eines Symbolkreises

In 2017, a so-called transparency register was established to collect information about the so-called beneficial owners of certain organisations and legal structures and to make this information available (§ 18 et seq. GwG). According to the new GwG, legal entities under private law and registered private companies (§ 20 GwG), as well as trusts and legal structures that are similar to trusts in their form and function (§ 21 GwG) must generally gather, keep and update information about their beneficial owners and report this information to the body that keeps the new transparency register immediately, to allow for registration (first and surname, date of birth, place of residence and type and scope of the commercial interest). This reporting duty applies, regardless of whether the indicated organisations and legal structures are obliged entities in the sense of § 2 GwG.

Failure to register is punishable by a fine (§ 56 subsection 1 no. 52-26 GwG).

This has applied since 1 October 2017 (§ 59 subsection 1 GwG).

New in 2020: Obliged entities who detect inconsistencies between the register data and their customers’ details in the context of fulfilling their due diligence duties, must inform the body that keeps the register. Failure to do so is also punishable by a fine (§ 56 subsection 1 no. 65 GwG).

In the light of recent events, we would like to point out that unauthorised requests for payment have lately been sent out by third parties with fraudulent intent.

Please note that only the organisations and addresses indicated here represent the official transparency register.

Logo des Transparenzregisters

Competent body for keeping the transparency register

The competent body for keeping the transparency register is the Bundesanzeiger Verlag GmbH.

Please contact this organisation if you have any questions regarding the use (registration/viewing) of the transparency register. Further information is available here:

Competent authority for penalising administrative offences

The Federal Office of Administration (Bundesverwaltungsamt) supervises the Bundesanzeiger Verlag GmbH in functional and legal regard. It is also in charge of penalising any administrative offences with regard to violations of duties concerning the transparency register.

Further information is available here: