The EC guideline 2005/60/EC on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the laundering of money and the financing of terrorism has been implemented by Belgian law. This law also provides that lawyers must identify the client in advance for certain legal services.

Domestic incorporated bodies can be identified using an extract of the Belgian Official Gazette or a notary deed. The identity of foreign incorporated bodies must be corroborated with documents accepted in the international traffic sector and which are recognised as proof of identity in the country of origin. The law also requires that the name and the date of birth is requested and kept on file, of the persons representing the incorporated body.

For domestic as well as foreign incorporated bodies, it is also necessary to identify the ultimate beneficial owner, save in exceptional cases. The ultimate beneficial owner is the natural person who, directly or indirectly, owns or controls more than 25% of the client’s management.

Natural persons can be identified on the basis of an identity card or passport. Additional research needs to be conducted for foreign, politically prominent clients designated as politically exposed persons.

If you have more questions about how the law on the prevention of money laundering and the financing of terrorism is implemented, do not hesitate to ask your point of contact.