Access to register data and register queries

General information

For reasons of data protection, the Austrian UBO register was designed as a non-public register. Access to register data and register queries without application are therefore only possible for a restricted group in the context of their due diligence to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. Accordingly, there are three groups of authorized persons to access the register data: Many Austrian Authorities may in principle access the register, as well as professional service providers who can use the register for due diligence. Finally, persons with a legitimate interest may also access the Austrian UBO register, but they must submit an application and prove their legitimate interest. While professional service providers have two different excerpts to choose from, persons with justifiable interest have only access to a limited version of register excerpts.

Unauthorized access to register data will be sanctioned as a financial offense with a fine of up to EUR 10,000.00

For access to register data, user charges are applied, which should cover the costs for operation of the register. The user fee can be paid separately for a specific quota of excerpts or by means of individual allocation for each statement separately. The amount of these user fees is not fixed and will be adapted on an annual basis by the Federal Ministry of Finance. The Austrian UBO Act also provides for a reduction in user charges, should it emerge that the user charges are overlaid on the costs.

Register excerpts for professional service providers

With regard to the Austrian UBO register the term professional service providers defines a group of professions, who have to carry out due diligence to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. This due diligence includes identity-checks of their clients. For this purpose register queries to the Austrian UBO register are available. The following groups of persons are obliged to use the UBO register as part of their professional due diligence:

  • credit and financial institutions and the Austrian Federal Financing Agency;
  • Federal concessionaires under the Gambling Act as well as licensed traders for gambling machines and betting operators (in accordance with state regulations);
  • professional party representatives such as lawyers, notaries, accountants, tax consultants and accountants (this group of people may also consult clients' register data for advice purposes);
  • commercial traders, including auctioneers, in so far as they accept payments in cash of at least EUR 10,000; and
  • real estate agents, business consultants and insurance intermediaries

Professional service providers can choose from two different variants of register excerpts via the company service portal of the Federal Government.

Those are

  • a simple register excerpt and
  • an extended register excerpt

and both have been designed to significantly facilitate the identification and verification of UBOs compared to the earlier status quo.

Simple register excerpts

Simple register excerpts have been designed to provide a clear overview of the direct and indirect beneficial owners of a legal person, insofar as they could be recorded in the register of beneficial owners.

Simple extracts from the register contain the following information:

  • date and number of the excerpt;
  • name and address of the legal entity;
  • Presence of an annotation;
  • Existence of an exemption according to § 6 Austrian UBO Act;
  • master register and master number;
  • legal form and founding date;
  • ÖNACE code;
  • direct ultimate beneficial owners (name and surname, date and place of birth, nationality, place of residence, nature and extent of the economic interest and whether an economic owner has died); and
  • Indirect beneficial owner (name and surname, date and place of birth, nationality, place of residence and details of the supreme legal entity (name and address of the supreme legal entity, number and kind of the register, legal form and founding date, ÖNACE (if available) and the nature and extent of the economic interest)); and
  • Time of the last register update, including whether or not there was a registration exemption.

    Extended register excerpt

    The extended excerpt is intended to assist professional service providers in identification and verification of ultimate beneficial ownership for customers with a domestic corporate structure and low to medium money laundering risk. Pursuant to § 11 Austrian UBO Act, a professional service provider may waive the submission of additional documents for the purposes of due diligence to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing if:

    1. a so-called complete extended excerpt exists, which is given if no annotation is set and also the calculated ultimate beneficial owners correspond with the reported ultimate beneficial owners;
    2. no factors for increased risk exist;
    3. the professional service provider has assured by inquiry to his client that the information given in the complete extended excerpt is true; and
    4. the professional service provider is convinced of the correctness of the complete extended excerpt.

    Extended excerpts contain, in addition to the above data in simple excerpts, the following information:

    • information about authorized persons of the legal entity, insofar as they are stored in the UBO register;
    • indication of calculated beneficial owners and supreme legal entities; and
    • indication of whether it is a complete extended excerpt, which is the case if all the data is complete, the reported data match the data generated by the automation system and there is no annotation set.

    The extended excerpt also contains an automatically generated organizational chart of all known levels of participation based on the entries in the UBO register, as far as these are relevant for the determination of the ultimate beneficial owners and if data of the respective legal entities is available in the register.

    Excerpts for people with justified interst

    A query from the Austrian register of ultimate beneficial owners by persons who are not counted as professional service providers is only possible to a limited extent through an application via a web form, whereby the application must demonstrate a concrete and legitimate interest in connection with the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing. In addition, it must also be demonstrated, among other things, what concrete contribution the requested excerpt can yield to prevent money laundering or terrorist financing.

    An excerpt from the register of ultimate beneficial owners submitted on the basis of an approved request contains the following information:

    • the concerned master register and the entities’ master register number, the name of the legal entity and address details of the legal entity;
    • legal form and information about the foundation date of the entity;
    • First and last name, date of birth and country of residence of ultimate beneficial owners; and
    • Nature and extent of ultimate beneficial ownership.

    A rejection of an application for access to the register of ultimate beneficial owners by the registration authority is made by a decision that can only be challenged at the Federal Finance Court.

    Information block

    The block of information is intended to prevent professional service providers or persons with a legitimate interest from obtaining details of ultimate beneficial ownership from the register of ultimate beneficial owners. However, the possibility of a block of information currently exists only for clubs (via the Association Act) and for private individuals (via the Registration Act):

    Each association registered in the Register of Associations may, if there are special reasons, apply to the Association Authority for refusal to provide any register information about it ("information block"). The presence of a block of information for register information is also considered in the register of ultimate beneficial owners: If there is an information block in accordance with the Association Act, the extract contains only the name of the association, the register number and the indication that the association is located in the country, and the indication that an information block is present. However, this does not apply to queries made by credit and financial institutions, notaries and insurance intermediaries. For these, the extract must contain only the country of residence and the indication that an information block is available instead of the residences of direct and indirect beneficial owners. If searching for natural persons who are the ultimate beneficial owners of an association for which there is an information block, this association must not be displayed in the hit list.

    If there is a freeze on information in accordance with the Registration Act, the extract only contains the information that the domicile is domestic, as well as the indication that an information block is present.