Firms carrying out any of the business activities listed below are required to register with the Commission by submitting the registration form and applicable fee to the Registered Businesses Department of the Fiduciary Services Division.
Acting, in the course of a business, on behalf of others in the acquisition or disposal of real property or any interest therein -
for the purpose of or with a view to effecting the introduction to the client of a third person who wishes to acquire or (as the case may be) dispose of such an interest, and
after such an introduction has been effected in the course of that business, for the purpose of securing the disposal or (as the case may be) the acquisition of that interest.
Legal and accountancy services
The business of lawyer, notary or other independent legal professional when they prepare for or carry out transactions for a client in relation to the following activities -
the acquisition or disposal of an interest in or in respect of real property (including for the avoidance of doubt a leasehold interest),
the management of client money, securities or other assets,
the management of bank, savings or securities accounts,
the organisation of contributions for the creation, operation, management or administration of companies,
the creation, operation, management or administration of legal persons or arrangements, and the acquisition or disposal of business entities.
or the business of auditor, external accountant, insolvency practitioner or tax adviser.
An "independent legal professional" does not include legal professionals employed by -
public authorities, or
undertakings which do not by way of business provide legal services to third parties.
An "auditor" means any person who, by way of business, provides audit services pursuant to any function under an enactment,
"external accountant" means any person who, by way of business, provides accountancy services to third parties and does not include accountants employed by -
public authorities, or
undertakings which do not by way of business provide accountancy services to third parties.
"insolvency practitioner" means any person who, by way of business, provides services which include acceptance of appointment as an administrator, liquidator or receiver under the Companies (Guernsey) Law, 2008, the Limited Partnerships (Guernsey) Law, 1995 or any similar enactment,
"tax adviser" means any person who, by way of business, provides advice about the tax affairs of other persons,
and, for the avoidance of doubt, in each case, does not include an employed person whose duties relate solely to the provision of audit services or accountancy services or services of the type described in the above definitions of insolvency practitioner or tax adviser, as the case may be, to his employer.
Firms undertaking the above types of business, who are not exempt under regulation 1(A) of the regulations from the requirement to comply with the regulations, are known as prescribed businesses. The exemption states that firms need not register with the Commission or otherwise comply with the regulations where -
the total turnover of the person carrying on the prescribed business in respect of the prescribed business does not exceed £50,000 per annum,
the prescribed business -
if it is an estate agent, does not hold deposits, or
if it is a prescribed business other than an estate agent, does not carry out occasional transactions, that is to say any transactions involving more than £10,000 carried out by the prescribed business in question in the course of that business, where no business relationship has been proposed or established, including such transactions carried out in a single operation or two or more operations that appear to be linked,
the services of the prescribed business are provided only to customers resident in the Bailiwick, and
the funds received by the prescribed business are drawn on a bank operating from or within the Bailiwick.
The regulations are part of the Bailiwick's anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT) framework. Firms carrying on, or holding themselves out as carrying on, the above types of business, and which provide the Commission with the basic information required by the regulations are automatically registered. The regulations contain no ability for the Commission to refuse a registration when the above types of business are carried out. The Commission does not assess a registered firm's fitness and propriety to carry out prescribed business nor, following registration, does the Commission supervise a registered firm's conduct of its business other than in connection with its compliance with AML/CFT obligations.
The Regulations include a requirement for prescribed businesses to certify to the Commission annually that they comply with the requirements of the Regulations, the Handbook and any instructions and notices issued by the Commission (see Regulation 15).
A copy of the information form to be completed by firms for registration under the regulations is available in Documents and Forms.
The regulations state that, on receipt of (a) a statement containing the specified information required in the regulations, and (b) the registration fee, the Commission shall register the prescribed business.
The specified information is
the legal name and any trading names of the business,
its place and date of incorporation or establishment,
its principal place of business and any other business addresses in the Bailiwick,
details of the type or types of business carried out,
the name of the money laundering reporting officer, and
the number of full time (or full time equivalent) members of staff (including executive directors and partners).
The laws, regulations and handbook which apply to all registered prescribed businesses are available on the legislation and guidance page. The Handbook for Legal Professionals, Accountants and Estate Agents on Countering Financial Crime and Terrorist Financing contains a consolidated version of the Criminal Justice (Proceeds of Crime) (Legal Professionals, Accountants and Estate Agents) (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Regulations, 2008 in Appendix E. When changes are made to the Handbook a version showing changes coloured in red is published alongside the new version.