Open Company Registers2021-08-30T11:52:02+02:00




countries were sent requests for a copy of the entire company register database
countries refused access to their company register database in its entirety
countries charge money for access to the company registers database
countries give free, public access to the entire company registers database
European governments, by putting these obstacles to accessing company register data, are complicit in blocking investigative journalists in their work uncovering criminal activities, money laundering, and tax evasion.
Helen Darbishire, continue reading...


  • Company registers in Europe should be fully accessible to the public, free of charge and in open data formats.
  • The right of access to information should apply in full to the bodies holding company registers and to the registers themselves.
  • Registers should enable and facilitate searches for company information record-by-record, for free.
  • Registers should include and make available to the public information on the beneficiary owners of companies.
  • Privacy policies should always be applied consistently and it should not be possible to override supposed privacy considerations by simply paying for the information.

Experts’ views

Why is it important for the public to have full, free access to company registers?

Users perspective on access to company registers:

The Findings

The map below summarises the results of the request process, which took almost two years to complete.

To find out more about what happened in each country, click on the map or use the country-by-country list below:

Map Key
In red…Refused access to info
In orange…Process still ongoing
In green…Gave full access to info
In blue…Administrative silence


22Dec 2022

Global Data Barometer: What the EU should do to close the data gap

Madrid, 22 December 2022 – Access Info is today calling on the European Union and EU Member States to act to ensure that data needed for priority issues such as for preventing corruption and tackling climate change, is made public in all countries. This call comes following the publication on 16 December 2022 of the report “The State of

6Dec 2022

Not all Expression is Lobbying

Submission to OECD Consultation on Lobbying and Influence Madrid, 6 December 2022 – In its analysis of the draft OECD Recommendation on the regulation of lobbying and influence, Access Info has warned of the risk of some governments using the proposed provisions to limit media freedom and freedom of expression in the name of regulating “influence” and ensuring that

28Nov 2022

Global Civil Society Organisations Concerned About European Court Ruling on Beneficial Ownership Transparency

As European Union and African Union representatives meet in Brussels on Monday 28 November 2022 to review progress following the EU-AU Summit in February, 34 African and European civil society organisations have raised concerns about threats to ground-breaking EU transparency measures, which could undermine all that has been put in place to prevent and combat the problem of illicit

23Nov 2022

Open Beneficial Ownership Register Rules Declared Invalid by EU’s Highest Court

Madrid, 23 November 2022 – The Court of Justice of the European Union on 22 November 2022 declared invalid the provision of the Fifth European Union Anti-Money Laundering Directive that requires EU countries to provide public access to beneficial ownership registers. In a ruling that has sent shockwaves through Europe’s anti-corruption and transparency community, the Court found that the Fifth

17Oct 2022

Malta: Civil society calls for justice for Daphne Caruana Galizia on fifth anniversary of her assassination

Valletta, 16 October 2022 – Access Info is one of 36 freedom of expression and information groups which have denounced the Maltese government's lack of ambition and transparency in press freedom reforms and renewed calls for full justice for Daphne Caruana Galizia. The full statement reads as follows: Five years ago today, investigative reporter Daphne Caruana Galizia was brutally assassinated in

13Sep 2022

Helen Darbishire re-elected Chair of UNCAC Coalition

Madrid, 13 September 2022 – Access Info Europe is delighted to announce that its Executive Director, Helen Darbishire, has been re-elected as Chair of the UNCAC Coalition, the global network of anti-corruption organisations. Helen Darbishire, who has served as Chair for the past two years, was elected along with Co-Chair Gillian Dell of Transparency International who set up the UNCAC