Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Department of the Commercial Registry

The Commercial Registry is responsible for gathering beneficial ownership information on all local and external registered incorporation(s) within Guyana. The AML Department is responsible for capturing Declaration of Beneficial Ownership information, the submission of Annual Return(s) and Financial Statements, Notice of Defaults for non-submission of declaration(s) of Beneficial Ownership, Notice of Defaults for non-submission of Annual Return(s) and Financial Statements, Voluntary and Involuntary Winding Up, Liquidation of Companies, Cessation of External Companies, Receivership and removal of Companies from the company register and Restoration of companies.

Basics of Beneficial Ownership

What is beneficial ownership?

It is looking to navigate layers of corporate entities and trusts foundations etc, often across various jurisdictions to find out who are the real and natural persons who ultimately enjoy the benefits from the assets or transactions of a Company.

Who are beneficial owners?

Beneficial owners are the real owners of companies. A beneficial owner is a natural person who can be found at the end of an ownership chain. Often there is just a single link between a Beneficial Owner and a Company, but sometimes it can include long and complex ownership chains of multiple legal entities. A beneficial owner is a person who ultimately has the right to some share of a legal entity’s income or assets, or the ability to control its activities. Beneficial ownership transparency reveals how companies and other legal entities or arrangements, such as trusts, are owned and controlled by their beneficial owners.

Why beneficial ownership is important?

Beneficial ownership allows someone to benefit from assets that are held in the name of a company or other legal entity.


Please see below link to AML/CFT Act 2009 AML ACT 2009




Not for Profit Organizations

When the Guyana Compliance Commission begins its operations, they will be required to comply with provisions based on the Second Schedule per the Guyana Compliance Commission Act. In the new regulations of the (AML/CFT (Miscellaneous) Regulations No 12 of 2023, the following Regulations are to be noted as follows -

  1. Regulation 3 - Where a NPO is registered, the relevant Registrar will consult with the Commission, who will use a risk-based approach and any Guidance by the FATF in relation to NPOs.
  2. Second Schedule - Guyana Compliance Commission Act No 14 of 2023 a. The Commission, in collaboration with the Registrar of Friendly Societies and the Commercial Registrar, shall be responsible for conducting outreach and training to the non-profit organization (NPO) sector in its entirety. 2.. The Commission shall be guided by Recommendation 8 of the Financial Action Task Force standards with respect to monitoring the non-profit organization sector.
  3. The Commission shall include the following four elements in its supervision: (1) Ongoing outreach to the sector. (2) Proportionate, risk-based supervision or monitoring. (3) Effective investigation and information gathering; and (4) Effective mechanisms for international cooperation.
  4. The Commission shall from time to time conduct a risk assessment of the non-profit organization sector in Guyana.
  5. Upon registration of a non-profit organization under the Friendly Societies Act, Companies Act or the registration of a Deed, the respective Registrar shall refer the non-profit organization to the Commission for registration.
  6. A person shall not operate a non-profit organization in Guyana unless the non-profit organization is registered under this Act.
  7. A person who contravenes Guideline 6 commits an offence and is liable to a penalty as prescribed in section 23 (2) of the Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act.
  8. An application for registration as a non-profit organization under Guideline 6 shall include the following:
  1. form containing— (i) the name, address, telephone number and e-mail address of the non-profit organization. (ii) the declared purposes and activities of the non-profit organization; and (iii) the name, occupation, address, telephone number and e-mail address of each person who is a controller of the non-profit organization.
  2. copies of the constituent documents of the non-profit organization.
  3. a copy of photo identification of the controller or controllers making the application of the non-profit organization in the form of a valid national identification card or passport.
  4. a completed AML/CFT/CPF risk assessment questionnaire.
  5. a fee prescribed by Rules; and
  6. such other information as may be prescribed by Rules.
  7. As a result, they will be required when the Commission is formed. Additionally, the Commission could advise in consultation with the Registries, that this questionnaire is filled out at source. At this time, however, this questionnaire will be complementary to the process; as a result, if they choose (at this time), not to fill it out, then so be it (for now).

    Strategies and Guidelines – AML/CFT

    Guidelines for Professionals – AML/CFT who interface with the Commercial Registry

    These AML/CFT/PF Guidelines provide important information for the consideration of these professions, who are 'gatekeepers' in the fight against money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing; particularly in this case, these professionals can assist to ensure that legal persons and arrangements are not created for abuse and to facilitate predicate offences such as corruption, tax evasion, fraud and smuggling.

    Real Estate Agents and Brokers assist clients with the sale of land, and registration with Transports in the Deeds registry; additionally, the formation of companies and the transfer/sale of real estate involving legal persons and arrangements are now common practices in Guyana.

    Trust and Company Service Providers are fully engaged in trust and company formation through the creation and management of various types of legal persons and arrangements for the profitability of clients, as well in some cases, as the management of their legacy.

    Accountants and Auditors have the responsibility to ensure that financial statements are accurate, up to date, and reflect industry standards and practices, as these statements are a legislative requirement to be met by the majority of legal persons created at the Commercial and Deeds Registry.

    Attorneys-at-Law, and other legal professionals such as clerks and similarly legally trained persons, interface with the Deeds and Commercial Registry, as their functions are critical in the aspect of the formation of legal persons and arrangements.