Open Company Registers2021-05-04T13:40:44+02:00

ACCESSING COMPANY REGISTERS
USING THE RIGHT TO KNOW

ONLY 1 OUT OF 32 EUROPEAN COUNTRIES ALLOWS FREE, PUBLIC
ACCESS TO ITS ENTIRE COMPANY REGISTER

CoReg_Report_Cover

0
countries were sent requests for a copy of the entire company register database
0
countries refused access to their company register database in its entirety
0
countries charge money for access to the company registers database
0
countries give free, public access to the entire company registers database

THE FINDINGS

RECOMMENDATIONS
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...

Recommendations

  • 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.

TWEET YOUR SUPPORT!

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

How did we get this information?

How long did we wait for responses?

Why were we refused access?

How much do they want us to pay?

Cover photo: Vater_fotografo via Flick (CC BY-SA 2.0)

OPEN COMPANY REGISTERS LATEST NEWS

11Jun 2021

OGP governments urged to open company registers

Madrid, 10 June 2021- Speaking at the Ministerial Level meeting of the Open Government Partnership Steering Committee, Helen Darbishire of Access Info, in her role as a civil society member of the Steering Committee, stressed the need to act on the transparency agenda that the pandemic has indicated should be a top priority.

15Feb 2021

Renewed call for Open Company Registers: a Response to OpenLux

15 February 2021– As the OpenLux scandal unfolds, leading transparency, anti-corruption and open data organisations today reiterated their call to the European Commission and national governments to open company registers with high quality data in order to prevent the corruption, fraud, tax evasion and organised crime that has once again come to light thanks to the work of investigative journalists. 

9Dec 2020

Call to protect EU’s Number One Anti-Corruption Instrument: Open Company Registers!

Brussels, 9 December 2020 – On International Anti-Corruption Day 2020, 101 leading transparency, anti-corruption and open data organisations along with investigative journalists from across Europe have called on the European Commission and national governments to act to ensure that company registers, including ownership and corporate structure data, are freely accessible and published in open data format. In an open letter