Identification duty

Dutch Lawyers (advocaten), tax consultants and (candidate) public notaries, among others, are currently subject to the Dutch Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Act (Wet ter voorkoming van witwassen en financieren van terrorisme). Pursuant to this Act, the aforementioned professionals are, in principle, obliged to establish the identity of clients before entering into a business relationship.

Domestic legal entities are identified by requesting an excerpt from the trade register or a notarial deed. The identification of a legal entity under foreign law is possible by requesting an excerpt from the trade register there or on the basis of other documents recognised as means of identification by law. Furthermore, the (natural) persons acting for the legal entity in question must also be identified. This can be done by means of a passport. The data, such as a copy of the passport, must be retained.

The ultimate beneficial owner (UBO) of both domestic and foreign legal entities is determined. This is a natural person who directly or indirectly has a stake of 25% in the legal person or otherwise has control over it.

If there are any questions regarding the Wwft and the office’s policy in this respect, you can address them to your contact person or the professional handling your case.