Summary: The Information Act Is Subordinate to the Company Register Laws
|Request sent to||Ministry of Justice – Commercial Register Division (Click here)|
|Outcome of request||Information refused.|
|Time taken to respond||35 days (deadline is 14 calendar days)|
|Reason for refusal||Only need to answer requests for individual records.
Another law overrides FOI law.
Must pay for access.
The initial request for access to the full company register was sent to the Office of Justice, Commercial and Register Division on 28 August 2013. Legally, Lichtenstein has 14 calendar days to answer an access to information request. The following day, the Register Division asked us to clarify our request by providing them with the business name of the company whose records we wanted access to.
On 2 September 2013, Access Info Europe responded clarifying that we were seeking access to the full database, under the Information Act of 1999. That same day, the Register Division responded that we should look at their website for the publicly-available information and that, if we needed more detailed information, we could buy access to the company extracts.
We responded to the Register Division on 5 September 2013, reiterating that we were seeking access to the full company register in electronic format. Since there was no response, we sent a follow-up email on 22 September 2015, reminding the Register Division that the 14-day deadline had passed.
On 24 September, two days later, we received a response which said:
“Reading your request it is not clear for me what kind of information you are looking for. According to my understanding of the Information Act, only information with respect to your person as such are available on request.
We can only comply with your request if you send a certified copy of your passport or identity card to our office. That will allow us to verify your identity.
If your request has to been understood to include all information contained in the company registry as such minus personal data and other sensitive information, it is my understanding that Information Act does not include such kind of request.”
We responded on 3 October, clarifying once more that we were seeking access to a copy of the company register database, under the Information Act of 19 May 1999, and that it was not a request for personal information. We insisted that the purpose of the Information Act was to make information that is collected by public bodies available to citizens, if it does not harm any specifically protected interests such as national security.
The Register Division responded on 10 October 2013, stating that neither the Information Act nor the data protection law provided a right of general access to files, insisting that they only allowed for access to specific files. We were also told that these two laws were of a general nature, whilst the Person and Company Law and the Company Register Act were laws that created specific conditions for access to data, “which means that they take precedence over the Information Act and the Data Protection Act,” according to the Register Division.
Accessing Liechtenstein´s Company Register:
|Information available (for free)||Information publicly accessible for free on the internet:
|Provision for public access||All registered information is public and can be requested.
Everyone is entitled to inspect the entries in the Commercial Register for a fee. Information can be requested in writing or electronic form.Information provided for free online is given without warranty, and has no legal effect.The only legally binding document is the certified commercial register extract. You can order a certified full extension fee.To see the documentary evidence and written documents underlying the entries in the database you must pay a fee and demonstrate “a justified interest is substantiated by prima facie evidence”.There is an exception to this in the case of stock corporations, partnerships limited by shares or companies with limited liability, whose register files can be inspected without a the need to prove a justified interest.On request and against payment of the prescribed fee, the Office of Justice shall issue copies and extracts in electronic form or, if explicitly requested, in paper form.
|Cost per record||The fees are:
|Cost for whole database||It is not possible to buy a copy of the whole database.|
Liechtenstein´s Right to Information (RTI) Rating (Click here)
Liechtenstein´s Law on Access to Information (Click here)
Liechtenstein’s company register (Click here)