On 19 September 2023, the law dated 7 August 2023 overhauling the centenary law of associations and foundations (“Law”) was published in the Luxembourg official gazette. The Law repeals the law of 21 April 1928 on non-profit associations and foundations. The Law aims to lighten and modernize the legal framework for non-profit associations and foundations and provide more accounting transparency to guarantee better control and thus create a new legal framework that meets the current associative and charitable sector’s needs.
On 20 July 2023, the Luxembourg Parliament adopted a law reforming the right of establishment in Luxembourg (“Reform”). It amends the Luxembourg law dated 2 September 2011 regulating access to the professions of craftsperson, trader, manufacturer and certain liberal professions as amended (“Business License Law”).
The Reform aims to adapt the Business License Law to embrace the changes in the regulatory, economic, technical, technological, entrepreneurial and artisanal environments and to stimulate entrepreneurship.
On 13 June 2023, the Luxembourg Parliament adopted Draft bill No. 7885 establishing a national screening mechanism for foreign direct investments likely to affect security or public order for the purposes of implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/452 of European Parliament and of the Council of 19 March 2019, establishing a framework for the screening of foreign direct investments in the EU, as amended (“Law“).
European Union, online public access to the Luxembourg register of beneficial owners (RBO) was temporarily suspended.
On 16 December 2022, online access to the RBO was re-established for professionals subject to the amended law of 12 November 2004 on the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing (“Professionals”), such as professionals from the financial and insurance sectors, auditors, real estate agents and developers, persons carrying out a family office activity, notaries and lawyers.
On 1 February 2023, the Luxembourg Business Register announced that all entities registered with the Luxembourg trade and companies register that have made an RBO declaration will be receiving a confidential code allowing them to access their own RBO data and order an RBO extract even though they do not qualify as Professionals.
Following the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 22 November 2022, access to the Luxembourg register of beneficial owners website via the internet has been temporarily suspended. This judgment, taken on a preliminary ruling from the Luxembourg District Court in a dispute between the beneficial owners of an entity registered in Luxembourg and the Luxembourg Business Register, underlines that access without distinction of user quality, although imposed by the text of Directive (EU) 2018/843 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018 amending Directive (EU) 2015/849 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing transposed into Luxembourg law, is contrary, in particular, to Articles 7 and 8 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
The forthcoming visit to Luxembourg of the Financial Action Task Force, the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog, is certainly not unrelated to the recent adoption of the law creating a new procedure of out-of-court dissolution without liquidation for certain commercial companies. That law is the first part of the more ambitious reform aiming at preserving businesses and modernizing bankruptcy law, currently pending before the Luxembourg Parliament. Its objective is to remove, in a quick and cost-efficient way, dormant and empty shell companies without economic reality and in breach of applicable laws to prevent them from being used for criminal purposes.