This is the second instalment of our registry spotlight series, where we look closely at each of the 123 national registries accessible via our platform and single API.
Mapping corporate customers’ shareholding structures is one of the most essential and time-consuming steps in the onboarding and due diligence process. Official information can often be retrieved directly from local company registries, which represent compliance teams’ best line of defence against the risk of fraud and financial crime.
However, accessing a company’s official filing documents such as the Certificate of Incorporation, Annual Returns, Memorandum & Articles of Association can be an overwhelming task, especially when onboarding clients registered in a foreign country or with a complex and multi-jurisdictional structure.
This blog series looks at various company registries, their history, their offering and how users can access them. After Hong Kong, let’s focus on our EU headquarters: Ireland.
What is the role of Ireland's company register?
In Ireland, the Companies Registration Office (CRO) is a government organisation under the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment. It is the central repository of public information on Irish companies, storing data and document images on registered entities in an electronic database.
The main functions of the CRO are:
- Incorporation of companies;
- Registration of companies’ post-incorporation documentation;
- Enforcement of the Companies Act 2014 in relation to filing obligations of companies;
- Registration of business names/changes in business name particulars;
- Provision of information available to the public.
How do you access Ireland's CRO?
CRO provides access to this data in several ways.
Almost all the information filed with the CRO is available for public inspection, usually for a small fee. Certain vital information, such as company name and registered office address, may be checked free of charge on the web search facility CORE (https://core.cro.ie/) and at the CRO Public Office, which remains closed due to Covid-19 as of August 2022.
A more detailed synopsis of a company is available by ordering a company printout or a copy of any document filed. This again can be obtained using the web search facility and a charge applies.
What information is available in the CRO?
According to official data released by CRO, the total number of Irish companies in the register is 270,835, and the number of new companies incorporated in the course of 2021 was 25,468.
The registry provides information on various entity types, as shown in the table below:
|Entity type||% of data on register (2021 Data)|
|Private Company Limited by Shares (LTD)||88%|
|Company Limited by Guarantee (CLG)||7%|
|Private Unlimited Company (ULC)||2%|
|Designated Activity Company Limited by Shares (DAC)||2%|
For these entities, CRO provides digital copies of a variety of official filing documents. Major documents include:
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Annual Return General
- Financial Statement
- Account Details
- Letter of status – Companies
- Change In Situation of Reg Office
- Change In Directors/Secretary
- Last Month Statement
What are Ireland CRO’s fees?
CRO allows registered users to search for all statutory information provided by registered companies. Company printouts and images of filed documents are also available for purchase, on payment of a small fee, ranging from €3 to €25, where applicable.
Certain vital information, such as company name and registered office address, may be checked free of charge via the CORE portal: https://core.cro.ie
Why does real-time access matter?
Live and up-to-date business information is increasingly becoming the cornerstone of any KYB programme for global organisations under regulatory scrutiny. Regulators demand that compliance investigations are based on verifiable and authoritative corporate data and sourcing such information from registries is the best way to be audit-ready at all times.
But there is more. Relying on live registry connections instead of traditional databases helps FIs (Financial Institutions) unveil untapped business opportunities. Newly incorporated companies or Start-ups are a catalyst for economic growth both globally and locally and are currently driving the post-Covid economic recovery. These organisations are often in urgent need of financial services such as a bank account, financial loans, or other types of corporate services to develop their business. However, their company information is not retrievable from conventional KYB database yet.
If FIs, Fintech and corporate services providers wish to target this market segment, they need to know how to access company registries in real-time. If they want to grow internationally, they need to do this not just in their local jurisdiction, but across borders.
How can Know Your Customer help with registry access?
The Know Your Customer platform and single API empower you to verify companies’ information and access official mandatory documents across 500+ local company registries in 123 countries worldwide.
But that is only the beginning. Our system also provides AI-driven automated data extraction and shareholder identification from official records. It enables compliance teams to map out corporate structure across jurisdictions, identifying Ultimate Beneficial Owners (UBOs) and effectively minimise fraud and financial crime risks with AML screening from leading watchlists. This integrated approach ensures audit-proof documentary evidence, enabling businesses to meet relevant regulators’ most stringent requirements.
With Know Your Customer, compliance teams can quickly and safely build a one-stop digital workspace to streamline their entire corporation onboarding and know your business (KYB) process, as well as effectively simplifying their access to company registries globally.
Our technology also helps traditional FIs, Fintech and corporate services firms gain a competitive edge in today’s highly digitised landscape, particularly when targeting recently incorporated organisations.