Foreign companies that acquire real estate in Germany, either directly or by acquiring shares (so-called "share deals"), have already been required to be registered with the Transparency Register since 2020.
However, as of 28 December 2022, this obligation also applies to foreign companies that own real estate in Germany, so that foreign companies that already own real estate in Germany will also be subject to the registration obligation if not registered yet.
Therefore, such foreign companies must now be registered or be registered in the Transparency Register (or any suitable other European transparency register) by 30 June 2023. Pursuant to Section 59 Abs. 13 German Money Laundering Act (Geldwäschegesetz, GwG), significant fines may be imposed for failure to register or for late or incorrect registration. In exceptional cases, fines can be up to EUR 5,000,000 or 10% of the total turnover of the previous financial year. Another sanction pursuant to Section 57 GWG is the possibility of "naming and shaming", whereby the competent supervisory and administrative authority publishes the fine decision, which is final and incontestable, on its website.