Transparency Report for Corporations
The Land Ownership Transparency Act (or “LOTA”) intends to record hidden ownership of land in British Columbia.
Under LOTA, a relevant corporation, a trustee of a trust, and a partner of a partnership (also described as a “reporting body”) must disclose persons having an interest in the land.
LOTA defines a beneficial owner as a person who has an interest in land, which is registered or to be registered in the name of a trustee if the individual has the power to revoke the trust and receive the interest in land; the person’s interest in land does not depend on the death of another individual; or the person is a corporate interest holder and the corporation has either an interest in land or the power to revoke the trust and receive the interest in land.
A relevant corporation must disclose information on all corporate interest holders who own or control, alone or with others, directly or indirectly, 10% or more of the equity or voting rights of the corporation; or, who have the right, alone or with others, directly or indirectly, to appoint or remove a majority of the directors of the corporation.
A relevant trustee of a trust must disclose all beneficial owners who hold a beneficial interest in the land; have the power to revoke the trust and receive interest in the land; or are corporate interest holders of a corporation that has a beneficial interest in the land; or have the power to revoke the trust and receive the interest in the land.
A relevant partnership must disclose information for all partnership interest holders who are a partner in a relevant partnership or a corporate interest holder in a relevant partnership.
Under s. 24 of LOTA, you must ensure that the corporate interest holders and beneficial owners are notified of your obligation to make a transparency report, before you sign as a certifier before a notary or lawyer. The information that you provide will be visible in a publicly accessible database.
Individuals who are minors and those found to be incapable, if approved by the court, a designated health authority or a prescribed person, will not be described in the public registry. Further, individuals who believe that disclosing their identity might comprise a threat to their safety, mental or physical health may apply to the administrator to have their details omitted from the registry.
LOTA provides a list of entities that are excluded from reporting described as both Schedule 1 and Schedule 2.
Persons who fail to make a transparency report may face fines of up to $25,000 plus 15% of the most assessed value of the land as described by BC Assessment. Individuals who contravene the act or mispresent the facts may face fines of up to $50,000.00 and 15% of the assessed value of the land as described by BC Assessment.
Only a person who has signing authority for the corporation, trust or partnership should sign a transparency report as a certifier.
You may contact Paul Anthony Williams, Notary Public, for assistance with filing your transparency report (604) 245-2244.